Los Angeles: In an astonishing indictment of the state of American medical care, a 44 year old man from Santa Monica, CA was accidentally decapitated by his surgeons.
Walter Briggs, expecting to have knee surgery for a torn ligament, got a lot more than he bargained for. It is not known exactly what went wrong during the operation, but the incident is being actively investigated.
Surgeons were supposed to have operated on Briggs' left knee, replacing his ACL with that of a cadaver. But instead, doctors somehow replaced his head with that of a 34 year old black man who died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles earlier in the week.
"I can't believe this" Briggs said in a phone interview. "I didn't mind the idea of getting a cadaver's ligament, but I certainly didn't want his head."
Martin Fisher, lawyer for the LA County hospital said "It's an unfortunate incident, you never want to see an operation go wrong. But in all reality it's not that bad. At least he's walking out of here with a head, even if it's not his."
Martina Briggs, Walter's 39 year old Wife of 12 years is obviously broken up. She refused to comment on the situation but she was visibly shaken by what she had seen. She is currently fighting with hospital officials to have her husband's head reattached.
Briggs' lawyer, Dontrell Freeman, had this to say: "Certainly, my client wants his head. It is appalling. My client is not a racist, but what kind of a life is he going to have with the head of a 34 year old black man?"
"This is just horrible, we feel horrible about this." Said a nurse who wished to remain nameless. "I mean of all the parts of a black man, a white man might want, I'm pretty sure the head on his shoulders would be the last one."
One hospital administrator assured us that Mr. Briggs would have his head back as soon as it could be located. "At this time we are trying to locate the patient's head. But we want to assure him that if we cannot find it, we will do everything in our power to make sure he can learn to live with the head we've given him."
"I'm 44" said Briggs "I don't have the time, nor the energy to learn how to live as a black man right now. Not to mention I look ridiculous, I'm a pasty white man who can't dance."
Jason Callo, a hospital security guard said "It looks pretty bad. It looks like someone stuck Wesley Snipes' head on the Pillsbury Doughboy. That guy won't last 10 minutes out there in the real world looking like that."
We were assured that the hospital would investigate the incident, and that everything would be done to correct the mistake. As far as Mr. Briggs' knee, goes; well it appears that he will go to another hospital to that the work done.