On July 30, 1949, Dr. George C. Balderston decided to operate on himself to see the true effects of local anesthesia and post-operative results. His friend, Dr. Richard Gladman, injected the local anesthetic and did the sponging, while the good doctor removed his own appendix. A nurse, Mrs. Gladys Wood, became ill during the procedure and had to leave the room.
The operation was a success and by the next day, he was back in business. He performed three tonsillectomies, treated a boy with a back injury, and was awoken at 2:00 AM to make a house call.