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A closer look at the Somerton Man’s NINE medical conditions.

According to Dr. Dwyer, the Somerton Man suffered from many medical infirmities.

(1) He had a massively oversized and congested spleen.

Medical term – Splenomegaly.

“Splenomegaly is a rare but potentially life threatening occurrence that can lead to splenic rupture.

The condition can develop due to several underlying medical conditions, ranging from blood disorders to liver disease.

If a person suspects that they have splenomegaly, they should see their doctor and take steps to protect against abdominal injury.”


(2) He had acute gastritis haemorrhage

Medical term – Acute Hemorrhagic Gastritis.

“Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a symptom of a disorder in your digestive tract. The blood often appears in stool or vomit but isn’t always visible, though it may cause the stool to look black or tarry. The level of bleeding can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening.


(3) He had extensive congestion (clogging) of the liver.

Medical term – Congestive Hepatopathy.

“Congestive hepatopathy is suspected in patients who have right-sided heart failure, jaundice, and tender hepatomegaly.”


(4)  He had congestion (clogging) of the pharynx.

Medical term – Pharyngeal Congestion (Pharyngitis)

“In some cases, medical treatment is necessary for pharyngitis. This is especially the case if it’s caused by a bacterial infection. For such instances, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source (CDC), amoxicillin and penicillin are the most commonly prescribed treatments for strep throat. It’s important to take the entire course of antibiotics to prevent the infection from returning or worsening. An entire course of these antibiotics usually lasts 7 to 10 days.”


(5) He had a deeply congested stomach. 

Medical term – Indigestion

“There are many possible causes of indigestion. These can range from dietary and lifestyle habits to the side effects of medications and serious underlying conditions.”


(6) He had congestion in the 2nd half of the duodenum.

Medical term – Duodenal Obstruction.

“Intestinal obstruction is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine (colon). Causes of intestinal obstruction may include fibrous bands of tissue (adhesions) in the abdomen that form after surgery; hernias; colon cancer; certain medications; or strictures from an inflamed intestine caused by certain conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis.”

“Without treatment, the blocked parts of the intestine can die, leading to serious problems. However, with prompt medical care, intestinal obstruction often can be successfully treated.”


(7) He had congestion of both kidneys.

Medical term – Renal Congestion.

“Hospitalizations due to heart failure are increasing steadily despite advances in medicine. Patients hospitalized for worsening heart failure have high mortality in hospital and within the months following discharge. Kidney dysfunction is associated with adverse outcomes in heart failure patients. Recent evidence suggests that both deterioration in kidney function and renal congestion are important prognostic factors in heart failure.”


(8) His liver contained a great excess of blood.

Medical term – Blood Vessels Disorder of the Liver

“Inadequate blood flow—into or out of the liver—may result from heart failure or disorders that make blood more likely to clot (clotting disorders). In clotting disorders, a clot may block the portal vein or a hepatic vein, slowing or blocking blood flow.”


(9) He had congestion in the blood vessels of the brain.

Medical term – Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis.

“Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses. This  prevents blood from draining out of the brain. As a result, blood cells may break and leak blood into the brain tissues, forming a hemorrhage”.

“This chain of events is part of a stroke that can occur in adults and children. It can occur even in newborns and babies in the womb. A stroke can damage the brain and central nervous system. A stroke is serious and requires immediate medical attention.”


As a personal note, my medical qualifications only extend to the ability to Google various medical words and phrases, find what I’m looking for then cut and paste it here.

Some of TSM’s medical conditions appear (to the layman’s eye) to be interrelated, but there is little doubt he needed medical assistance.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    A silly question, I realize, but is there any type of occupation/lifestyle that could result in the SM having so many medical issues? The reason I raise this question is it seems at odds with his physical body,i.e. well developed calf muscles-horse riding? etc

    February 21, 2022
    • Clive, perhaps he acquired his conditions relatively quickly, especially seeing so many appear to be related – a bit like the domino effect – and that being the case didn’t lose his physique.

      February 21, 2022
  2. Matthew Kleid #

    The condition of his organs doesn’t square with his apparent physical fitness, ability to travel and generally get around. The extent of blood loss seems severe enough to cause collapse and death by hypovolemic shock. Cue the dirge for the loss of the autopsy report. Would that we had estimates of volume loss…

    February 21, 2022
    • Harking back to the Coroner’s speculation, in that if it was found that TSM didn’t die where he was found and had been carried to the beach, cue Detective O’Doherty’s credible witness, then everything would need reconsidering, which would include his alleged 30th November arrival in Adelaide etc etc … so, perhaps he was in town and unwell for quite some time before dying.

      February 21, 2022
  3. Clive #

    Pure speculation but, perhaps he had been staying at a certain Moseley St address for a while? On 30 Nov 1948 his health suddenly deteriorated, due to a certain individuals ‘care’, and he was placed near the steps facing the CCH, the same day his suitcase was delivered to the railway station?

    February 21, 2022
  4. Byron Deveson #

    Certain connective tissue syndromes could could most, and possibly all of the observed problems. People with these conditions can be apparently pretty healthy and athletic untill something gets to far out of whack and they start declining.

    February 21, 2022
  5. Byron Deveson #

    Some forms of connective tissue disease can cause very small stature and Jessie was only 4 feet 6 inches (JS was correct in this) in height whereas her brothers were reasonably tall. I don’t know about Jessie’s sisters. I note that Robin was able to extend his legs out 180 degrees (the ballet jump photo) and hyper-flexibility is a common connective tissue disease symptom.

    February 21, 2022
  6. Byron Deveson #

    I should add that if SM and Jessica both had connective tissue disease then this suggests they were related.

    February 21, 2022
    • Matthew Kleid #

      Hello Byron, I’ve been enjoying your insights. Do you know if TSM’s DNA profile could become public record?

      February 22, 2022
  7. Byron, I missed one of Dwyers findings. (Number 9) ….. which indicates he suffered from a cerebral haemorrhage. A stroke!

    February 22, 2022
  8. the Sly Dog #

    Are these medical conditions something that it’s likely he lived with for some time or was there rapid onset as a result of something, like a poison?

    February 25, 2022
    • The next time I have a check up with the local quack that’s what I’m going to ask him. Poisons I don’t know, but the spleen problem might have been chronic for a while to be so enlarged.

      February 25, 2022
  9. EM #

    cerebral flare up of dormant malaria

    August 31, 2022

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