Sleuthing on the Trail of Stone, Part 1 of 3 Destination Disaster – James Hector and the CPR

From the Article

Sir Hector was in his glory. So much so he virtually ignored the growing complaints of Douglas, who had been suffering a side stitch since embarking in Vancouver. Dr. Hector had trained as a surgeon, but that was briefly in his youth, and he had since been employed in geologic and administrative matters most of his career. So he wisely asked another doctor present, Charles Schaffer, husband of Mary, for his opinion. But Dr. Schaffer was an ophthalmologist!

Nevertheless, he diagnosed appendicitis and recommended immediate removal to Revelstoke, the nearest medical facility – 44 miles distant by rail. Hector dithered, but abruptly in the night caught a westbound freight, gaining passage in the caboose for himself and his patient.

Douglas’s swollen appendix ruptured before his operation.

The procedure provided temporary relief from pressure, but infecting bacteria escaped into his abdominal cavity and multiplied. He died the next day.

Hector the father telegraphed those he knew at Glacier House:

24 hours too late.
We could not save him.

Sleuthing on the Trail of Stone Trilogy

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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