Dr. Lee Expects President to Live
St. Louis Physician Who Attended Him the Day He
Was Shot Returns Home.
Doctor Edward W. Lee
of No. 4168 Maryland avenue, one of the physicians who attended
President McKinley immediately after he was shot, returned to St.
Louis from Buffalo yesterday. Doctor Lee saw the President two hours
before leaving Buffalo on Sunday, and says that at that time he
was perfectly cheerful, appearing to suffer no pain, and was confident
that he would recover.
Doctor Lee says it is probable that
the bullet which pierced the President’s stomach will not be removed
at all. He said that it had evidently lodged in the tissues of the
back and that the flesh had closed about it. There will be no reason
for going after the missile unless it should cause some specific
trouble. It is likely that the President will carry the bullet in
his body for the remainder of his life.
“The incision which was made in the
President’s stomach was closed up after the effort to find the bullet
had failed,” said Doctor Lee. “Now, the stomach, which penetrated
by the bullet, is healing up, and it is not likely that another
operation will be resorted to; not, anyhow, before the patient has
become much stronger. It is not uncommon for persons to carry bullets
in their bodies and suffer no disagreeable effects. This will in
all likelihood be the case with President McKinley.
“I believe that if the President continues
to improve as he has for the last thirty-six hours, he will be restored
to health. In fact, I think his recovery is almost a certainty,
unless some unlooked-for development sets him back. I do not know
of anything of this kind which is likely to happen.
“I notice that I was quoted by a St.
Louis paper as saying that the President’s case was hopeless. This
is a mistake. I thought from the first that the case was very serious,
but never doubted that he could recover.
“The idea is pretty generally current
that the bullet which struck Mr. McKinley in the chest, entered
the body and was removed by means of an operation. This was no[t]
the case. Only one bullet entered the President’s body. The one
which struck his chest came in contact with the breast bone on the
right side, inflicting a black and blue bruise, but not penetrating.
The bullet was found in the President’s clothes when we removed
them at the Emergency Hospital.”