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42

 

summoned from Oklahoma City for Baba, Mehera and Elizabeth, the most seriously hurt. Fortunately, no serious complications set in. Mrs. Duce and Charmian arrived to help and later, Margaret Craske."

 

Margaret helped Baba with isolation muscle exercises. Charmian’s task was to wash Baba's clothing. Elizabeth, bound in a plaster cast (11 ribs were broken) and unable to move even a finger to sign her traveler’s checks and the insurance papers, held a pencil while Mrs. Burleson made the legal "X" for her.

 

Dr. Burleson, surgeon-owner of the modern, well-equipped small Prague Clinic, writes of his experience with his distinguished patient as follows:

 

"As you know, the ambulance brought the victims of the accident into the hospital about 11:00 a.m., May 24th, 1952. As usual, I began attending the first one that was brought in which happened to be Mrs. Patterson. By the time I had determined the major extent of her injuries, they brought in Mehera Irani . . . I remember while (attending her injuries) Dr. Irani began urging me to come and see about Baba. Of course I had no idea who Baba was and barely heard her because of the concentration on what I was doing . . . When I finally got around to attending to Baba I was surprised to see an individual who was injured as badly as he was, still smiling. I was also astounded to find that he did not speak a word or make any sound denoting discomfort. I assumed that he could not, but was informed soon by Dr. Irani that he did not speak because of a willful act. I knew that we were going to have to give him a general anesthetic (pentothal) to set his fractures and suspected that he would say something at that time, but he didn't. The most attractive quality of his personality that first day was the way he would look at me with those big brown eyes as if he were reading my mind. Later I determined that the most astounding quality was that something which made it possible for him to receive such profound devotion and loyalty from so many fine and educated people. That quality cannot be forced. Such devotion can only be possible because he deserved it or earned it."

 

After thirteen days in the hospital, Baba and the others returned by ambulance not to the Center, but to Youpon Dunes, Elizabeth's home on Ocean Boulevard.

 

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