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Listen Now: MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2023 3:00 am

Listen Now: MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 339 podcast archives available on-demand.

December 20, 2023 3:00 am

The human body is a miracle. But when it’s not working, it can be the stuff of nightmares. On this new series from master storyteller MrBallen, we’re sharing medical horror stories and diagnostic mysteries that are surgically calibrated to make your blood run cold. 

From bizarre, unheard-of diseases and miraculous recoveries to strange medical mishaps and unexplainable deaths — you’ll never hear the phrase “heart-stopping” in the same way again. MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries is a first of its kind collaboration between MrBallen and Wondery, the award-winning company behind Dr. Death.


Follow MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries wherever you get your podcasts. Prime members can binge episodes 9-16 early and ad-free on Amazon Music.


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CBS Sunday Morning
Jane Pauley

Hey listeners, it's me, Mr. Bollin, and I'm here to tell you about my brand new podcast. It's called Mr. Bollin's Medical Mysteries. Why medical mysteries?

Well, we've all been there. Turning to the internet to self-diagnose our inexplicable pains, debilitating body aches, sudden fevers, and strange rashes. Though our minds tend to spiral to worst-case scenarios, it's usually nothing, but for an unlucky few, these unsuspecting symptoms can start the clock ticking on a terrifying medical mystery. Each week on Mr. Bollin's Medical Mysteries, you can expect bizarre, unheard-of diseases, miraculous recoveries, strange medical mishaps, unexplainable deaths, and everything in between. Like the unexplainable death of a retired firefighter, whose body was found at home by his son, except it looked like he had been cremated. Or the time when an entire town became ill with nausea and chills, and the local doctor chalked it up to being food poisoning, until people started jumping from buildings and seeing tigers on their ceilings. Each terrifying true story will be sure to keep you up at night. I'm about to play a clip from Mr. Bollin's Medical Mysteries.

While you're listening, follow Mr. Bollin's Medical Mysteries on Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. Mr. Bollin was a caring wife and young son. He walked out the front door of his home in Asheville, North Carolina, he got in his car, and pulled off into the foggy morning. Benjamin drove about 15 miles until the city streets became narrow country roads. In the distance, he saw the peaks of green mountains jutting into the sky.

The area was breathtaking. Benjamin's stomach was in knots. He was about to start his new job as a doctor at the Cane Creek Clinic, a rural medical center in the small town of Fletcher.

A few minutes later, Benjamin turned off the main road and into the driveway of an old repurposed farmhouse. The farmhouse was the clinic's location, which had been founded by another doctor whose last name was Gilmer, except this doctor's name was Vince Gilmer. When Benjamin found it odd that he happened to share the same last name as the previous doctor, he knew it would confuse some patients. In fact, having the same last name as the clinic's founder had almost kept him from getting the job. The board of directors was hesitant to hire him because the first Dr. Gilmer had done something so heinous that they wanted to completely disassociate themselves from that name.

Vince Gilmer had murdered his own father and mutilated the corpse five years earlier on June 28, 2004. He was now serving a life sentence in prison. Benjamin Gilmer understood why having the same last name as this killer would give the board of directors pause, but Benjamin was grateful that they gave him a chance.

His goal wasn't to work in a big hospital or make a ton of money, it was to help people who needed it most in small communities. Benjamin parked, then got out of his car and walked toward the clinic. He took a deep breath and then stepped through the creaky front door.

The clinic wouldn't open for another 10 minutes, but there were already a handful of people sitting in the waiting area reading the local paper. A few people glanced up at him, but no one gave him a strange look. He smiled and waved back, relieved that he didn't seem to be causing any confusion. Benjamin headed into the back and greeted his staff, who had already been told Benjamin was not related to the other Dr. Gilmer. Benjamin checked his busy schedule. He had back-to-back-to-back appointments from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

He refilled his coffee mug, put on his white coat, and got to work. By the end of the day, 6 p.m., he was tired and ready to go home, but he had one more patient to see, a woman who was there for a follow-up on her arthritis. But when he walked into the exam room, he was startled by what he saw. The woman was sitting on the exam table with her head down almost to her knees and she was hyperventilating. Her breaths were shallow and her face was pale.

She was clearly having a panic attack. But as soon as Benjamin stepped all the way into the room and shut the door, the woman looked up at him and visibly began to relax. Her breathing slowed down and her color started to come back. Once she had steadied herself, she reached out and touched Benjamin's shoulder and apologized. When the nurse had first mentioned she'd be seeing Dr. Gilmer, she was terrified because she thought it would be the other Dr. Gilmer, the murderer. Benjamin smiled and told her it was alright, he was just glad she was feeling better.

Once the woman was ready, Benjamin began to examine her. And as he checked her vitals, they talked about the other Dr. Gilmer, Vince Gilmer. Despite her fear that it was going to be the first Dr. Gilmer walking into the exam room, she had said to the new Dr. Gilmer that she actually only had fond memories of Vince Gilmer. She remembered Vince as being very kind and caring before she found out he had murdered his father. One time when she was at the clinic, she'd seen Vince rescue a mouse from a no-kill mousetrap. Then he walked out back and released it right next to a koi pond he'd built himself. He cared deeply about every living thing, which had made his crime all the more shocking to her.

Benjamin thanked her for being so open. He prescribed some medication for her arthritis, walked her back to the waiting room, and then he returned to his office. Benjamin wrote up his patient notes from the day, and then he left the clinic. But on the way home, he kept thinking about Vince Gilmer. He wondered how a man who had been a doctor committed to saving lives was now serving a life sentence for murder. His mind wandered as the trees on the side of the highway whipped by. Benjamin blinked and forced his eyes to stay on the road.

He didn't want to think about a murderer, especially one who shared his last name. Finally, Benjamin arrived home, he had some dinner, and then he crawled into bed and fell asleep. Over the next several months, Benjamin tried to push thoughts of Vince Gilmer out of his head. Taking over the clinic was a demanding job, and Benjamin often worked 14-hour days. But even when he was busy, he couldn't shake the feeling that there was something more to Vince's story. Time and time again, longtime patients who came into the clinic who had known Vince Gilmer would tell Benjamin about Vince's generosity and compassion, how he would take payment in the form of corn and tomatoes from patients who could not afford to pay the bill, how he still made house calls, how he treated everyone with decency and respect. Benjamin just couldn't believe someone like Vince could transform into a violent criminal with no explanation. He wondered if there could be a medical explanation for Vince to snap and become this killer. Did something break inside of him? And even more, Benjamin just could not let it go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-20 20:30:27 / 2023-12-20 20:33:39 / 3

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