Phineas Gage: A Nearly Impossible Tale of Survival
Who Was Phineas Gage?
The Workplace Accident
This is a story about a man named Phineas Gage, a man that had made people discover lots of things about the brain, but was not a scientist, or even specialized in studies himself. Today, I will show you how he had donated so much to science
A Trip to the Doctor
Phineas Gage was a railroad worker in Vermont, and his job at the site was to destroy rocks with a tamping iron and gunpowder with his assistant.
The Next Few Years
In Vermont of 1848, Phineas Gage was working on a railroad with an assistant who blew up rocks. He had done this many times before, and was used to it by now. But, for some reason, he looked at something, which made his iron slip, hit a piece of granite, make a spark, and set the gunpowder off. It went straight through his head, going under the left cheekbone and coming out right above his hairline.
The Death of an Immortal Man
Only two minutes after the incident, Phineas sat up. His crew saw that he had in fact, been alive and they quickly brought him to the doctor, Doctor Williams and Harlow. Doctor Williams quickly rushed into town, seeing what had happened to Phineas. He had not believed it at first, but after he saw Phineas, he was surprised that he survived. Soon after, Doctor Harlow arrived. He too, had not believed the story, but he was surprised to see that the story, had in fact been true.
After Phineas had recovered from the wound, he no longer was himself. He started to explode in emotion with little to no reason, become rude to others, and became a raging alcoholic. He lost his job at the railroad factory, and became a wanderer for a while, looking for jobs. He had landed some jobs as a circus freak, carrying his tamping iron with him to show that went through his brain. He would go on to survive another eleven and a half years.
One day, as Phineas was doing something, he started to have an epileptic seizure, which was related to his brain injury. After his death, a museum in Boston claimed him and his tamping iron. They are still on display to this day.