Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
The family's concern masked the beauty of that spring morning in the
late 1940s. The boy had been ill about five days with a fever, chills, coryza,
and myalgias. His temperature had reached 104° the previous night when
his father had noticed the red, bumpy rash. The boy felt terrible. He was
lethargic, unable to concentrate, lie still, or sleep. His appetite was off
and his thirst prodigious, despite the large volumes of water, juice, and
milk he consumed.
The boy's mother removed the thermometer from his mouth and, holding
it at arm's length by the light of his bedroom window, she noted the temperature
was 103.5°. "Still got the fever, Charlie," she reported. "Mind if we
call Jinx?" The boy shrugged passively. She returned to the bed, hugged him
close, kissed his forehead, and went to confer with her husband. The telephone
call to John K., MD, or Jinx as his patients knew him, was made shortly afterward.
He would drop by in the afternoon. The boy spent the rest of the morning dozing
between doses of aspirin and glasses of juice.
Helms C. Remembering Jinx. JAMA. 1998;279(15):1168. doi:10.1001/jama.279.15.1168