The Spleenless Trio

My son Stuart and my nephews Branch Fields, Jr, and Wallace Ware (Skip) Neblett all lost their spleens at an early age because of accidents.  Stuart was almost five, and the other two were in their teens. I have always considered it somewhat miraculous that boys survive childhood.

The spleen is located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the stomach and under the rib cage.  The spleen fights infections and filters the blood to remove old and damaged red blood cells.  Fortunately, most of the spleen’s functions can be taken over by other body organs, but the loss of a spleen may increase one’s susceptibility to certain infections.  Branch and Skip are both physicians.  They would know.

In folklore, the spleen has another function as being the site of bad temper or spite.  Thus, the expression, “Vent his spleen.”  I have always known Stuart, Branch and Skip to be kind, calm, mild-mannered men.  Perhaps we have discovered the reason.

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