Morrison was just 22 years old and partially crippled when the RMS Mirzapore set sail for London on 27 March 1884. Sir Thomas Fitzgerald continued to treat his patient on board ship and, detecting the presence of a foreign body in Morrison’s left buttock where one of the spearheads had embedded itself, decided to operate.
Three weeks into the voyage while the Mirzapore was crossing the Indian Ocean, Fitzgerald anaesthetised Morrison and made an incision in his left buttock. Finding a sinus leading into the pelvis, the surgeon probed further and came to a large sac of pus in which there were wooden spear fragments. He wanted to remove the main obstacle by making an abdominal incision but reluctantly decided to wait because he feared that an epidemic of scarlet fever among passengers and a