In 1960, Leonid Rogozov, a 27-year-old surgeon accompanying the Antarctic research team and the only doctor on the team, suddenly developed a high fever and pain in his lower right abdomen. He immediately diagnosed that he had appendicitis and that the hospital was so far away that no one could save him except himself.
He planned carefully how to do this operation on his own and asked two of his teammates to be his assistants.
General anesthesia was not possible, and he was only injected with the local anesthetic drug Novocaine in the abdominal wall.
“There was a lot of bleeding, but I pressed on, opened the peritoneum, I accidentally damaged the appendix and had to repair it, my head was getting dizzy and every five minutes I had to rest for 20-25 seconds” .
“Finally I found the damn appendix and I saw black spots on the tail, which meant that in another day it could have perforated”.
But he didn’t fail. Two hours later he finally got the last stitches in.
After taking antibiotics and sleeping pills, he fell into a deep sleep… and two weeks later, he was back at his job.