The steeply rising cost of health care in this country means that, at times, corners must be cut. Sometimes you'll find yourself with a generic prescription instead of a name brand. Other times, you might even self diagnose on Web MD. That's probably accurate enough, right?
But then you have those few brave souls who looked at all of the above and said, "Also who needs a fancy 'surgeon' or 'hospital' when it's time to go under the knife? Just improvise that shit!"
Crazy? Yes. And almost certain death. Which is why it's all the more amazing that it worked in these cases.
Cordless Drill Brain Surgery
Brain surgery is one of the few things in life that you really, really don't want to use that discount coupon on. But sometimes you just have to make do with what you have. And sometimes what you have hails from Home Depot ... and has been bought with said discount coupon.
"Leaves? No, I'm going to remove my liver!"
Just ask Henry Marsh, a British neurosurgeon who travels to Eastern Europe on a regular basis, and just gravitates naturally towards potential brain surgery the way Batman gravitates towards criminals. One day, he found himself in a familiar, brain surgeony situation -- a woman with a tumor that would kill her if not removed -- only sans the equipment, since at the time, the Ukraine wasn't too hot on state-of-the-art medical gear, and were going through more of a state-of-the-tool-shed phase.
We'd imagine this is the worst case scenario that flashes through a doctor's minds when someone shouts, "is there a doctor in the building?" For Marsh, it just meant he had to improvise with what he had. He drilled through the woman's skull and removed the tumor using only some local anesthetics and a $65 Bosch cordless drill he happened to have with him for some reason. When the battery went flat, he dug in with his hands.
I am forced to use the greatest surgical instrument of all: insanity!
All the while talking soothingly to the patient who, in case you're not familiar with how local anesthesia works, was fully goddamn conscious throughout the operation. Apparently, Ukrainian women are hardcore.
Obviously we wouldn't be telling you this story if the patient then just fell over dead. That wouldn't be brain surgery, that would just be a crazy person committing cranial drillocide. No, Doc Marsh successfully removed the tumor, the patient lived and the operation was a success. Using the same tools you'd use to build a birdhouse.