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Doctor Expresses Satisfaction with Sen. Kennedy’s Progress

June 21, 1964 - A top military doctor expressed satisfaction today at the condition of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and said there would be no need to encase his broken back in a plaster cast.

Brig. Gen. Henry Murphey, head of the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, visited Mr. Kennedy at Cooley-Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass.

The 32-year-old Massachusetts Democratic Senator was taken there Friday night after the crash of a private plane that took two lives. He was removed from an oxygen tent today.

Dr. Murphey said Mr. Kennedy was in a canvas-covered frame device that eliminated the need for a plaster cast, once common for all fractures.

He said the device was as long as the patient’s 6-foot-2-inch height. It rests on the floor, and the patient lies on canvas pulled tautly under him. He is held in place with canvas also pulled tautly on other bars of the frame.

The younger brother of President Kennedy was injured when the two-engine plane crashed in an apple orchard in Southampton, Mass. Edwin Zimny, 48, of Andover, Mass., the pilot, died in the crash. Mr. Kennedy’s aide, Edward Moss, 41, died about seven hours later.

Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, the President’s widow, and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (pictured outside the hospital) were among the visitors today. The Senator also received a message of blessing from Pope Paul VI.

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