The Man With The Bionic Bottom

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Back in the 1970’s, one of my favorite television shows was “The Six Million Dollar Man”. It was about some sort of government agent who had his body crushed in a horrible accident; and later had major parts of his body with bionic parts. Back then, it was science fiction, but these days, what with hip and knee replacements, artificial hearts and what have you, fantasy has turned into reality. In fact, such surgical procedures have become so commonplace that they hardly raise eyebrows. Even then, this item I read in a newspaper really caught my attention.

A 55 year old British man had his bowel irreparably damaged in a motorbike accident. Galvin was given just hours to live by doctors after he was “‘ripped in half’ by his motorcycle fuel tank when a car suddenly pulled out in front of him. He suffered internal injuries. and had to be fitted with a colostomy bag. I can imagine that watching your poop collect in a plastic bag attached to your body would be a disgusting experience. An average man would have resigned himself to his fate and adapted: but not Galvin. He persuaded a team of surgeons to rebuild his bowels – in effect, give him a bionic bottom.

The surgeons took a muscle from above his knee, wrapped it around his sphincter and attached electrodes to the nerves, which are operated by remote control. Galvin carries the palm-sized device in his pocket and sim­ply presses a button to open his bowels and go to the toilet. The muscles in his bionic bottom will now need to be replaced once every five years, but that is something he can live with. He is just relieved that he can now go the toilet like a normal human being.


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