Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Visit to Ireland: Birthplace of The Physician who was one of the first to describe Hyperthyroid Graves' Disease

We just returned from Ireland, home of Sir Robert Graves. He was born in Dublin in 1796. He graduated from Trinity College in medicine when he was 22. He was a dynamic fellow. In a severe storm when the ship he was traveling on, was about to sink, due to damaged pump values, he took an axe to the lifeboat, because he knew they would all perish in it.He then took over command of the ship, and using his own boot leather, repaired the pumps.He published "Newly observed afflection of the thyroid gland in females" in the London Medical Journal in 1853. He detailed the clinical features of what is now recognized as Graves' disease, even though it was described earlier by Caleb Perry in 1825. It is remarkable that it is the one contribution that is most remembered today. Few call it Perry's Disease today!

In 9 days traveling throughout Ireland, I did not see a single goiter.

My daughter rode horses in western Galway, and at Castle Leslie in the northern Irish Republic, she rode cross-country on the castle's 1000 acre eventing course.

My Irish wife searched out her clans, the Delaneys, and McMonagles.
We found her family McMonagle homestead in Meenagoland,Donegal and the graveyard with 26 McMonagles in nearby Finn Town. There were 600 Delaney's in the Kilkenny phonebook!

It is good to be back.


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