The world’s first successful limb re-attachment is a fascinating story of science and human ingenuity

A team of doctors did something in real life that had only ever existed in mythology and science fiction.
photo of young boy on an illustrated backdrop with the words "The boy who lost his arm--and got it back"

In the November 1962 issue of 'Popular Science,' Eddy's story was told in a double-length feature. Popular Science

On May 23, 1962, 12-year-old little league pitcher Everette “Eddy” Woodrow Knowles III survived a traumatic accident that would change the medical world.

On that sunny spring day in the Boston suburb of Somerville, Eddy was trainhopping—hitching a ride by gripping the side of a moving train car—when his arm was torn from his body right below the shoulder. Eddy couldn’t remember the details of exactly what happened, but a local store clerk named Alice Chmielewski jumped into action, applying pressure to the wound while another bystander phoned emergency services. In just seven minutes, he arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital where the medical team attempted something unprecedented and more than 30,000 years in the making.

In the latest Popular Science video, we tell the incredible story of what happened next and how everything aligned perfectly to make history.

Want more Popular Science videos? Check out “The revolutionary toy technology of ‘Captain Power’ that time forgot” and “The Buried Treasure That Took Us To The Moon.” And don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube.