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Doctors were Startled to Find the Cause of this 24-year-old’s Excruciating Pain

Each time it happened, Johanna Dickson thought it was something she had eaten. The first attack struck while Dickson, then 23 and just back from a vacation in South Africa, was attending a party in New York. She assumed that the piercing abdominal pains might be a legacy of her trip or, more likely, the consequence of bad sushi she had consumed before the party. Something like this is very strange in a 24-year-old,” said Kenneth A. Goldman, the surgeon who operated on Dickson in August 2008. Goldman said he approached her case with some trepidation, “hoping for the best and assuming the worst.


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