Without it, Oswald’s shot to the head might have missed …
(Santee LaMotte, CNN) Every November, America remembers the end of Camelot: a shining time of promise brought to an abrupt and bloody end by Lee Harvey Oswald’s second shot, a bullet to the brain.
While conspiracy theorists debate who pulled that trigger, there’s another culprit that often goes unmentioned: Kennedy’s lifelong struggle with back pain.
It was his habit of wearing a tightly laced back brace that may have kept him from recoiling to the floor of his car after the assassin’s first bullet to the neck, setting him up for the kill shot.
“The brace was a firmly bound corset, around his hips and lower back and higher up,” said Dr. Thomas Pait, a spinal neurosurgeon who co-authored a paper about Kennedy’s failed back surgeries.
“He tightly laced it and put a wide Ace bandage around in a figure eight around his trunk. If you think about it, if you have that brace all the way up your chest, above your nipples, and real tight, are you going to be able to bend forward?”
The Kennedy clan closely guarded the true extent of John Kennedy’s medical problems well past his death.
It wasn’t until 2002, when historian Robert Dallek was allowed access to a collection of documents spanning 1955 and 1963, that specifics began to emerge.
Pait and his co-author, neurosurgeon Dr. Justin Dowdy, pored over Dallek’s subsequent book, numerous other documents and X-rays at the JFK Library in Boston.
“I was taken aback by the depth of Kennedy’s pain,” Dowdy said. “How long he dealt with pain despite his short life, how it affected his life and how they were able to conceal most of that from the public.”
Pait agreed: “He was one of our youngest presidents, and he was also one of our sickest presidents.” READ THE FULL STORY AT CNN. Also of interest: Las Vegas Shooter Was Prescribed Anti-Anxiety Meds