The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Summer of '68

July 13, 2008

Enid surgeon spent summer of ’68 treating wounded soldiers

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The Enid News & Eagle was able to locate Ronald Palmer this past May. We called him at his home in Putney, Vt., located about eight miles from his hometown of Brattleboro — the town listed in The Enid Morning News story from 40 years ago — and asked Palmer his remembrances from 1968.

“I would really like to speak with Dr. Selby. I am very grateful to him for saving my life. I have no doubts in my mind that that man saved my life,” Palmer said, not able to contain all the emotion in his voice.

Following Dr. Selby’s life-saving surgery, Palmer spent about a year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in the Washington, D.C., area. The Army then medically discharged Palmer and placed him on minimal monthly disability payments.

Palmer returned to Brattleboro, Vt., fell in love with and in 1974 married a young woman, Sally, who resided in the same apartment house as he, and he worked 32 years for the Brattleboro Highway Department.

Palmer’s wounds to his right leg were so severe, he has never been able to completely straighten his right leg. He has severe pain and arthritis in the leg and has battled through more than one bout of osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow. Palmer’s most recent bout with osteomyelitis was this past winter, Sally said, and his temperature spiked to 104 degrees, she said.

Dr. David Selby, the son of the late D. Bruce Selby, an Enid educator and high school principal of Enid High School from 1935-1959, for whom the D. Bruce Selby Stadium is named, attended the University of Oklahoma as an undergraduate and then medical school also at OU. Following graduation from medical school, Selby attended a one-year internship at the University of California-San Francisco hospital and then had a surgery residency for four years at OU’s medical center in Oklahoma City.

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Summer of '68