Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Surgeon's Hands

A Surgeon's Hands
By Michael Cannata  

He had the hands of a surgeon. One look at them would tell you that. The fingers were long and slender. His hands would have mastered any skill that demanded a superior level of manual dexterity. They never shook and moved with almost unreal grace. They never trembled, no matter how fine or delicate the work. And he was a plastic surgeon, just the kind of doctor she needed.

His wife was a beautiful woman. But, still, as she grew older she felt inadequate. She had decided that the only way to deal with her problem was to have her breasts enlarged.  He didn’t like the idea, but there was no talking her out of it. Many of her friends had done the same thing and seemed happier than ever with the results. All he could do was help her make the best choice when it came to the doctor that would perform the work.

They asked around, read the medical journals and finally settled on a doctor that was highly recommended by his other clients. His wife had trusted the surgeon. She loved his beautiful hands. The surgeon assured them both that there was virtually no risk. He showed them photographs of previous clients and let them read their glowing testimonials.

However, despite all their confidence, the results were not what they expected. He was even more devastated than she was. How could he have been so wrong about the doctor's skills? He had checked every reference, every license, even his college records. He realized soon that his wife would never be the same woman again.

The surgeon blamed everything and everyone connected with the surgery for the hideous appendages his wife’s breasts had become; everyone except himself. There were several follow-up procedures, but none could correct the damage. The scarring and the pain finally drove his wife to suicide. At least that was the official conclusion. But he knew better. Nobody kills their self by cutting off their own breasts. She went mad and just couldn’t live with what the surgeon had done.

It wasn’t until after her death and the reports surfaced in the papers that the real truth about the surgeon was revealed. He was a fraud. He’d lied about his certifications. His former clients were paid shills. Despite his best efforts to stop the surgeon, after three years of legal battles, the surgeon was still practicing his craft.

It became clear that if the courts wouldn’t help, he had to stop this monster himself. So he did what any husband... any man... would do. He stopped him.  He made certain that no other woman would suffer being mutilated at the hands of the surgeon ever again.

Now, he had the hands of a surgeon. They sat in a jar on his mantle; right next to his wife’s ashes.

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