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A POW’s Will to Live--French Surgeon Removes His Own Appendix

When the French surrendered to General Giap and the Vietnamese at Dien Phen Phu, the long line of survivors were led on foot toward Hanoi. A French army surgeon among the prisoners realized that his appendix was in trouble. What would he do?

Existence can reduce itself to one line ---“To be or not to be, that is the question.” The doctor arrived at the moment of truth. Would he go on or would he give up? He took the only instrument he had, a razor blade, and made the incision upon himself. He skillfully removed the offending organ. He sewed the wound with the only available thread, taken from his army uniform.

The doctor made it to Hanoi. Later he was released in an exchange of prisoners. He returned to Paris to practice medicine there.

So many have said, “What is the use? I might as well give up and die. This is the end of the line for me.” But there is the person, like the woman of our text, who says within herself “I”LL MAKE IT.”

From a sermon by Donnie De Loney, “What do YOU NEED from GOD?”, 1/15/2010

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