Perry Armstrong Loyd
September 11, 1881 - January 13, 1964
Story by Earl L. Loyd, M.D., his son,
written June 5, 1970
My most vivid memories of my father relate to that period of
time when I was a medical student and later as a general
practitioner from 1942 to 1945 in Salina. During my student
years my brother and I thoroughly enjoyed "talking medicine" with
Dad on our visits home. I am afraid we often excluded Mother
from these discussions. I recall on one occasion I used the term
"belly" to describe the location of a patient"s pain. Mother
immediately objected to such a term as being somewhat vulgar.
Thereafter I used the word "abdomen" a somewhat more socially
accepted term but, in my opinion, less descriptive.
In the summer following my sophomore year in medical school
my father and his good friend Dr. Porter Brown taught me how to
administer ether anesthesia. I was rather proud of my newly
learned skill and perhaps a bit overconfident. I remember after
one rather long operation the surgeon, Dr. Nelson, complimented
me but tempered the compliment with the comment that the blood
was "dark much of the time" indicating, of course, that I had
given too much ether.
1939 Photo of Herlan, Virgie, Perry, Mable (holding Marlene), Earl
During my three years of practice in Salina it was my
privilege to administer anesthetics for my father in his
tonsillectomy cases. It was his habit to start his cases early
in the morning -- no later than 7:30. He usually called me the
evening before "to be on time." If I had not arrived at the
hospital by 7:15 he would say to the Surgical Supervisor, "Call
Lavon, He was supposed to be here."
I recall one occasion when I admitted an elderly man, a
friend of Dad's, to the hospital in a deep coma. After examining
him I announced to the family that he could not live more than 48
hours. My father took me aside and told me I should not make
such positive predictions -- that it was not always possible to
determine how long a patient may live. He was right. In 48
hours the man was conscious and visiting with his family. A week
later he was back at work on his farm. He lived a number of
years and ny father took great delight in informing me from time
to time how well his friend was doing. As a result of that
experience I learned to "hedge" on any prognosis I was to
Another experience involving my father may be worth
recording. I agreed to perform a tonsillectomy on a negro girl -
- a student at Kansas Wesleyan where I was the school physician.
Because I was a little unsure of myself I asked Dad to be
available in case I needed assistance. This proved to be one of
the wisest decisions I ever made. I had partially removed the
first tonsil when the patient screamed splattering blood on my
glasses so I could not see. A nurse summoned Dad who quickly and
efficiently completed the operation. To everyone's relief --
especially my father's that was the last tonsillectomy I ever
attempted. It was about that time I decided to specialize in a
non surgical field.
During the years I was in private practice in Jefferson
City, I enjoyed discussing cased with Dad on my visits home. I
was always impressed with his knowledge of general medicine even
though he was in the rater restricted field of Eye, Ear, and
Throat. His comments were always pertinent and frequently quite
helpful to me.
I suppose the deepest impression he made on me was his
honesty and compassion for people. . I remember about a month
prior to his death I was visiting him when he got a call to
examine a small boy with a throat infection. I accompanied him
to the office and I noted that after treating the boy, the father
paid $2 for the call. On the way home I commented that t$2 was a
rater low fee for his professional services. His quiet reply was
to the effect that the fee was quite adequate and that he
happened to know the family was having a difficult time
Dad, of course, was not a famous physician and he was not
widely known outside of central Kansas, but if success is
measured in term of honesty and integrity, humility, and
compassion as well as technical competence, then he truly was a
TO MY GRANDFATHER by Marlene Loyd
For years he walked to town, a stalwart figure
Pacing out the seasons and the days
In pensive strides that matched
The calm and prayerful pattern of his ways.
On such a walk he might meet an acquaintance,
Or nod, or smile, or touch a hand to brim;
Yet in his eyes a depth, an abstract gaze,
For waking was a way of thought to him.
We rest upon his strength an understanding,
We set our hearts upon the wide, smooth shelf
Of his deep nature, and we stand the taller
Because he stood so straight and true himself.
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