A few days ago I posted a page on my site about S. Weir Mitchell, an eminent surgeon during the American Civil War who did quite a bit of work with nerve injuries. Besides just his work as a doctor, he was also well-known as an author. One particular story may be of interest to the folks on this forum, "The Case of George Dedlow." No, it's not about SCI, but it was the first time that phantom limb pain was brought to the attention of the reading public. Here's a short note that Mitchell later wrote concerning this story:

"``The Case of George Dedlow'' was not
written with any intention that it should
appear in print. I lent the manuscript to the
Rev. Dr. Furness and forgot it. This gentleman
sent it to the Rev. Edward Everett Hale.
He, presuming, I fancy, that every one
desired to appear in the ``Atlantic,'' offered it
to that journal. To my surprise, soon afterwards
I received a proof and a check. The
story was inserted as a leading article without
my name. It was at once accepted by many
as the description of a real case. Money was
collected in several places to assist the
unfortunate man, and benevolent persons went
to the ``Stump Hospital,'' in Philadelphia, to
see the sufferer and to offer him aid. The
spiritual incident at the end of the story was
received with joy by the spiritualists as a
valuable proof of the truth of their beliefs."

It's several pages long, so I won't post the whole story here. You may find it at:


It's a fascinating tale. And as an aside, reading a bit more of Mitchell's work makes it apparent that he was actually poking a bit of fun at the spiritualists with his depiction of a seance at the end of the story, but the believers latched onto it nonetheless.

David Berg