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Surgeon Who Tried To Save JFK Reflects On Assassination Anniversary

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 10:13am

Friday marks fifty years since President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas, and interest in the anniversary is high.

Memories are flooding back, especially for the last surviving surgeon who tried to save the President’s life.

“There was no way we could treat him that he could be salvaged,” Dr. Robert McClelland tells CBS 11 News. McClelland and two other surgeons were summoned to Parkland’s ER that fateful Friday.

“Pushed the door open and was horrified to see— the first thing I saw there—was President Kennedy lying on his back on a cart with an operating room light shining down on is bloody head.”

They initially found the President with what appeared to be only a bullet wound to the neck… until McClelland checked his head.

“(I said) ‘My God, have you seen the back of his head?’ And they said, ‘No, we came in just ahead of you.’ And I said, ‘Well, the whole back of his head is missing on the back side.’” McClelland continued, “Well, when I saw that injury to the back of his head, it became apparent to all of us, all three of us who were gathered around the President’s head working on him, that this was a fatal injury.”

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