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[VIDEO] Nov. 27, 1963 | Dr. Malcolm Perry Interview

Nov. 27, 1963 - Dr. Malcolm Perry, who operated on both President Kennedy and his accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, said today there had never been a chance to save the President but that Oswald nearly survived. Dr. Perry, 34 years old, vacationing in the Rio Grande Valley, said Oswald’s bleeding had been controlled and blood pressure restored to normal when his heart suddenly stopped beating. “We were very close to saving him,” he said. He said the bullet fired by Jack Ruby had entered Oswald’s body on the left side and punctured his spleen, pancreas, stomach, aorta, vena cava (a large vein), liver, and right kidney. He said that after Oswald’s heart had stopped beating, “various drugs and an electric defibrillator were used, as well as the heart massage, in an attempt to restore the beat.” Dr. Perry said he had been eating lunch in the hospital Friday when he was called to the emergency room to treat the President. He said his first thought when Mr. Kennedy was wheeled in was that the President was a larger man than he had imagined. Dr. Perry performed a tracheotomy — he opened the throat and inserted a tube to prevent fluid from keeping air from the lungs. Another surgeon inserted a tube into the President’s chest to keep the lung from collapsing. “My initial impression was that he had a mortal wound,” Dr. Perry said. He said he believed the President had two wounds — a massive one in the head and a small circular wound in the neck. Dr. Perry said his role was “just a small part of an awful tragedy.” “It could have been any one of 50 doctors doing it. It just happened to be me,” he said. “It is something we do every day. It is always a team effort. The enormity of it did not hit me until I was out of the operating room and sitting down resting. I realized then what had happened and must have sat there quietly for 15 minutes.”


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