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Chapter 42: Europe again.—heroic remedies.—health restored. 1858-1859.

Sumner arrived at Havre June 1; and after a night at Rouen, an old city which always fascinated him, he went on to Paris. Two days after, an American merchant, Mr. Henry Woods of Boston, then engaged in business in that city, directed his attention to Dr. Brown-Sequard1 as a person who, though not in the regular practice of medicine or surgery, had devoted himself to the study of nervous diseases, particularly as connected with the spine, and was well known for his experiments in physiology and his lectures before medical bodies. Sumner had had in mind a consultation with some eminent French physician, like Louis, Trousseau, or Velpeau; but now, with the sanction of Dr. George Hayward of Boston, then in Paris, he had recourse to Dr. Brown-Sequard, who concurred with Dr. Hayward in the opinion that the curative influences of time and change of scene were not sufficient to meet the case, but that it required ‘active treatment.’ Dr. Hayward expressed to Sumner full confidence that he would recover, though warning him that much patience on his part and considerable time would be required.

Dr. Brown-Sequard met Sumner first at the latter's lodgings, Hotel de la Paix, Rue de la Paix, on the 10th, having assured his patient in the note by which he made the appointment that there was not a human being, his own family included, whom he would so heartily rejoice to relieve from pain. After a diagnosis lasting three hours, and accompanied with the application of ice and boiling water, he decided that the blows on the head had taken effect by contre-coup in the spine, producing disturbance

1 Charles Edward Brown-Sequard (1818–), born in Mauritius of mixed American and French parentage; educated in Mauritius and in Paris, his specialty being experimental physiology; restless by nature, anti living at times in France, the United States, and England; a bold experimenter on animals and human beings; adventurous in practice as in theory; and attempting in late years to rejuvenate the human system.

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