Was JFK wearing his back brace?
Posted 22 November 2004 - 10:58 AM
Posted 22 November 2004 - 09:39 PM
Dear Wim...there are photos...
I never heard of that. If he did, why is there no photograph with the bullet hole? A brace cannot be "folded up" to make that bullet wound higher, like they tried to pull with the jacket and shirt. It would also be an expanation why that backwound was so shallow, as I imagine the brace would work somewhat as a bullet proof vest.
it would be nice to see them posted...
Posted 23 November 2004 - 12:45 AM
Posted 23 November 2004 - 09:23 AM
The back brace he was wearing was like a corset and did not extend up his back. There is a photo of it somewhere in the WC volumes.
I believe in the book Grace and Pwer by Sally Bedell Smith there is a photo of JFK and Earl E.T. Smith and it shows JFK in his back brace.
Posted 23 November 2004 - 11:11 PM
The brace did not extend up beyond the waist. There was also an Ace bandage wrapped around the brace and around the upper thighs.
Mr. SPECTER - And what else was done for the President?
Dr. PETERS - About the same time there was a question of whether he really had an adequate pulse, and so Dr. Ronald Jones and I pulled his pants down and noticed that he was wearing his brace which had received a lot of publicity in the lay press, and also that he had an elastic bandage wrapped around his pelvis at--in a sort of a figure eight fashion, so as to encompass both thighs and the lower trunk.
Mr. SPECTER - What was the purpose of that bandage?
Dr. PETERS - I presume that it was--my thoughts at the time were that he probably had been having pelvic pain and had put this on as an additional support to stabilize his lower pelvis. It seemed quite interesting to me that the President of the United States had on an ordinary $3 Ace bandage probably in an effort to stabilize his pelvis. I suppose he had been having some back pain and that was my thought at the time, but we removed this bandage in an effort to feel a femoral, pulse. We were never certain that we got a good pulse.
Posted 25 November 2004 - 07:34 PM
Posted 25 November 2004 - 10:52 PM
JFK and the corset that helped to kill a president
- Back brace made Kennedy an almost stationary target
By James Reston Jr.
Two years ago, historian Robert Dallek revealed new details about the extraordinary range of shots, stimulants and pills President Kennedy took to control his physical pain and present his youthful image to the world. Importand and interesting as these details are, they should not distract us from the one medical remedy that probably killed the president: his corset.
Members of Kennedy's inner circle had often witnessed the painful ritual that Kennedy endured in his private quarters before he ventured in public, when his valet would literally winch a steel-rodded canvas back brace around the president's torso, pulling heavy straps and tightening the thongs loop by loop as if it was a bizarre scene out of Gone with the Wind.
Once in it, the president was planted upright, trapped and almost bolted into a ramrod posture. Many would wonder how JFK could ever move in such a contraption. And yet move he did, and, besides his pain killers, his corset contributed to the youthful, high-shouldered military bearing that he presented glamorously to the world.
But this simple device imparted a fate almost Mephistophelean in it's horror to the sequence of events in Dallas 41 years ago.
In researching my biography of Gov. John Connally of Texas 15 years ago, I was put on to the critical importance of Kennedy's corset in the ghastly six seconds in November 1963 by a former Texas senator, the late Ralph Yarborough, who was in the motorcade that day.
Yarborough growled softly about that "damned girdle," and tihs led me to the remarks of two doctors, Charles James Carrico and Malcom Oliver Perry, buried in Volume 3 of the 26-volume set of testimony that attended the Warren Commission report.
In November 1963, Carrico was the 28-year-old resident in the emergency room of Parkland Hospital who first received the injured president in the trauma room; Perry came quickly to the emergency room to supervise the case - and then to pronounce the president dead a half-hour later.
Before the Warren Commission, Carrico told of removing Kennedy's back brace in the first seconds after his arrival. He described the device as made of coarse white fiber, with stays and buckles.
Apart from the never-ending controversy over how many bullets Lee Harvey Oswald actually fired from the Texas School Book Depository, most experts agree with the Warren Commission that Oswald's first bullet passed cleanly through Kennedy's lower neck, missing any bone, then entered Connally's back, streaking through the governor's body and lodging in his thigh. This was the first so-called magic bullet.
When Connally was hit, he pivoted in pain to his left, his lithe body in motion as it swiveled downward, ending up in the lap of his wife, Nellie.
But because of the corset, Kennedy's body did not act as a normal body would when the bullet passed through his throat. Held by his back brace, Kennedy remained upright, according to the Warren Commission, for five more seconds. This provided Oswald the opportunity to reload and shoot again and an almost stationary target.
The frames of the Zapruder film confirm this ramrod posture: Kennedy's head turns only slightly in those eternal seconds, and his upper body almost not at all, from frame 225 (when the first shot entered his neck) to the fatal frame of 313.
Without the corset, the force of the first bullet, travelling at a speed of 2,000 feet a second, would surely have driven the president's body forward, making him writhe in pain like Connally, and probably down in the seat of his limousine, beyond the view of Oswald's cross hairs for a second or third shot.
With no bones struck and the spinal cord intact, the president almost certainly would have survived the wound from the first bullet. Both Carrico and Perry testified to this likelihood (and apropos of the decades-long controversy, both testified that the small, round, clean wound in the front of Kennedy's neck was an exit wound rather than an entry wound).
To Perry, under the questioning of then-assistant counsel - now senator from Pennsylvania - Arlen Specter, the injury was "tolerable"; the president would have recovered. Because the bullet had passed below the larynx, the wound would not even have impaired his speech later.
In the new focus on cortisone shots, codeine painkillers, barbituates, stimulants such as Ritalin, and gamma globulin injections, the simple corset needs to be emphasized, tragically, in the context of those medical strategies Kennedy used to create the illusion of the vigorous leader.
Reston's forthcoming book is on the Spain of Christopher Columbus and will be published by Doubleday next year.
Posted 25 November 2004 - 11:06 PM
Posted 26 November 2004 - 12:19 AM
"I suspect he was not wearing a back brace when he was murdered."
The doctors and nurses at Parkland removed the back brace. He was definitely wearing it. Did you read Dr Peter's testimony I posted previously?
"...his back problems were solved a few months before his death."
JFK had degenerative spinal disease for 30 years, likely brought on by his continued use of steroid drugs to fight his many other ailments. The PT109 crash just exacerbated an already existing condition. It couldn't have been miraculously cured. Perhaps the exercises helped, but "solved" is an overstatement. He continued wearing the back brace in any case.
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