Testimony Of Dr. Jackie Hansen Hunt
The testimony of Dr. Jackie Hansen Hunt was taken at 1:12 p.m., on March 24, 1964, at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Arlen Specter, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. SPECTER - May the record show that Dr. Jackie H. Hunt is present, and may I show for the record that the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy is conducting an inquiry into all the facts surrounding the assassination of the President, and the medical care performed on President Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Hunt appears here today in response to a letter requesting that her deposition be taken; and may the record reflect the additional fact that Dr. Hunt is a lady doctor.
Would you at this time, Dr. Hunt, stand up and raise your right hand?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you give before the President's Commission in this deposition proceeding will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Dr. HUNT - I do, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you state your full name, please?
Dr. HUNT - Jackie Hansen Hunt, H-a-n-s-e-n (spelling).
Mr. SPECTER - And what is your profession?
Dr. HUNT - Medical doctor.
Mr. SPECTER - And, are you duly licensed to practice medicine by the State of Texas?
Dr. HUNT - I am.
Mr. SPECTER - And in what year were you so licensed?
Dr. HUNT - 1950.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you outline briefly your educational background, please?
Dr. HUNT - I graduated from medical school at Tulane College of Medicine in 1949. I had a year of rotating internship followed by a year of pediatric residency. In 1961 I started a residency in anesthesiology, which I completed in 1963, and I am now a fellow in anesthesiology.
Mr. SPECTER - Are you board certified, then, Dr. Hunt, at this time?
Dr. HUNT - No.
Mr. SPECTER - Are you working toward board certification?
Dr. HUNT - Yes, I am. I am eligible and will take the first part in June.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you have occasion on November 22 to render medical aid to the late President Kennedy?
Dr. HUNT - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you relate briefly the circumstances surrounding your being called into the case?
Dr. HUNT - I was in Parkland Hospital on duty with the anesthesiology department and was notified by our chief of staff, Dr. M. T. Jenkins, that the President had been shot. Together with Dr. Giesecke and Dr. Akin, I got an anesthesia machine and put it on an elevator and checked it out and set it up on the way to the emergency room and took it into the emergency room where the President was and he had been intubated, and I helped Dr. Jenkins connect the anesthesia machine to the endotracheal tube which at that time was being run, I believe, by a Bird machine, and after making certain that the connections were properly done, I placed the equipment in Dr. Jenkins' hands.
Mr. SPECTER - What doctors were present when you arrived there, Dr. Hunt?
Dr. HUNT - Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Male Perry--quite a number of others--I just can't remember who was there today.
Mr. SPECTER - Were any nurses present?
Dr. HUNT - Yes--I don't know the names of any of them.
Mr. SPECTER - What, if anything, did you observe as to the condition of President Kennedy?
Dr. HUNT - The first good look I took at him I noticed that his eyes were opened and that the pupils were widely dilated and fixed and so I assumed that he was in essence dead.
Mr. SPECTER - At approximately what time did you arrive in the emergency room?
Dr. HUNT - I don't know--it would have been--I would think near 12:45, but I've really never even thought about it and I frankly don't remember.
Mr. SPECTER - And how long after you arrived did you have an opportunity to observe the President in the way which you have just described?
Dr. HUNT - How long was it from the time I came in until I looked at him?
Mr. SPECTER - Yes ma'am.
Dr. HUNT - A minute--2 minutes.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you have any other observations at that time?
Dr. HUNT - No--other than that everyone was working on him. They were doing cardiac massage, closed chest massage, I.V.'s were running, and others were being started.
Mr. SPECTER - I.V.s?
Dr. HUNT - Intravenous fluids and, of course, our department was breathing for him.
Mr. SPECTER - And when you say "breathing for him," what do you mean by that?
Dr. HUNT - Ventilating him--an endotracheal tube down into the trachea attached to an anesthesia machine with 100 percent oxygen going, and by manual compression of the bag, ventilating him.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you observe any wounds on the President?
Dr. HUNT - I actually did not see the wounds.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you at any time see a wound to the head?
Dr. HUNT - No; I didn't see it.
Mr. SPECTER - And was there something obscuring your view from seeing the head wound?
Dr. HUNT - Yes; I could see his face and I could also see that a great deal of blood was running off of the table from his right side and I was on his left side.
Mr. SPECTER - Were you near his head or foot or the middle of the body?
Dr. HUNT - I was about midbody actually, well, no-more at his shoulder, when I leaned over to look at him.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you ever observe any wound in the neck?
Dr. HUNT - I did not actually see the wound in the neck. I say that because I assumed there was a wound--someone's hand was there and there was blood present, but there was blood on nearly everyone.
Mr. SPECTER - What was the condition of his throat when you first observed him, if you did observe it at all?
Dr. HUNT - I couldn't--I don't know--I can't say. You mean, as far as inside or outside?
Mr. SPECTER - Outside.
Dr. HUNT - I don't actually remember seeing anything except someone's hands were using a sponge or something was present in the area.
Mr. SPECTER - What medical operation, if any, was performed on his throat?
Dr. HUNT - I don't know.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you observe a tracheotomy being performed on his throat?
Dr. HUNT - No--that's not to say that they were not doing one.
Mr. SPECTER - What else was done for the President other than that which you have already described?
Dr. HUNT - Well, let's see, I don't--as far as actual observation, I didn't-- other things were done--I left at this time and went to Governor Connally.
Mr. SPECTER - At about what time did you leave President Kennedy?
Dr. HUNT - I was probably in the room no more than 4 minutes at the most.
Mr. SPECTER - Had he been pronounced dead by the time you left?
Dr. HUNT - No; he had not.
Mr. SPECTER - And where did you go when you left the President's room?
Dr. HUNT - Straight across to operating room 2.
Mr. SPECTER - And what did you find in operating room 2 when you arrived there?
Dr. HUNT - Governor Connally was present there and--
Mr. SPECTER - What doctors, if any, were present when you arrived?
Dr. HUNT - Red Duke I'm sorry,. I just don't remember who the others were. There were three or four.
Mr. SPECTER - What action was being taken with respect to Governor Connally upon your arrival there?
Dr. HUNT - They were placing chest tubes, as a matter of fact, they had one in and were putting the other one in, and were--they had an I.V. going, I believe someone had done a cutdown, and they were checking other wounds. He had a wound on his arm and another wound down on his leg, I think, and that was about it--preparing to take him promptly up to surgery.
Mr. SPECTER - And what did you do on that occasion?
Dr. HUNT - I walked in and Dr. Duke looked up and the first thing I did was to look at the Governor--I took his pulse and he spoke to me and said something, and noted his color.
Mr. SPECTER - What did the Governor say to you?
Dr. HUNT - He said something like, "It hurts," not anything real specific, but he did at least speak, and it was a conscious thought type of thing, so that he was more or less alert, responding, so then I stepped back into the hall and signaled a fellow, a medical student who has been in our department, that is rotating through anesthesia, and I happened to see him just outside the door, and I asked him to please go upstairs and bring me another unit of equipment and then came back in and told Dr. Duke I had sent for equipment, although I didn't believe the Governor was going to need it, and he said that he was very glad that I had and he, too, didn't think he would need it, but he should have it as a standby, and then they brought me a machine and my table down and I stayed with the Governor until he was ready to go upstairs, but he did not require any respiratory aid because he was not that critical.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you participate any further with the treatment of Governor Connally?
Dr. HUNT - When we were ready to go upstairs, I went back to the room where the President was and Dr. Giesecke, who is a staff member from our department, appeared relatively free and I asked him if he would come and go upstairs with the Governor and I came on upstairs in a different route. I didn't go in the elevator with the Governor--Dr. Giesecke went with him, and helped Dr. Giesecke get under way with the surgery.
Mr. SPECTER - How did you go upstairs, by what route?
Dr. HUNT - I don't know--I don't remember.
Mr. SPECTER - Is there any other elevator going up to the operating rooms?
Dr. HUNT - Yes; there are four elevators.
Mr. SPECTER - But do those lead from the emergency rooms?
Dr. HUNT - No; you come down this long hallway up to those of the ground floor.
Mr. SPECTER - Is there more than one elevator for the stretcher to go through from the emergency room up to the second floor operating rooms?
Dr. HUNT - Yes; they can--they come up to these.
Mr. SPECTER - What route would they have to take to do this?
Dr. HUNT - They would have to come directly out of the emergency room and down this main hallway to this front bank of elevators.
Mr. SPECTER - That would be a pretty long route, would it not?
Dr. HUNT - Actually, it isn't very long. I don't know in yards or paces even, but there are three elevators there.
Mr. SPECTER - What route did Governor Connally use?
Dr. HUNT - I think they took him by the back elevator, the one that comes down into the emergency room.
Mr. SPECTER - Is that the one they customarily use to take people from the emergency area into the operating room?
Dr. HUNT - Yes; if there is an emergency it goes straight up---they usually use that one.
Mr. SPECTER - You say you went back to President Kennedy's room?
Dr. HUNT - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - And what did you observe there at that time?
Dr. HUNT - At that time I did notice, and possibly this was there earlier, I noticed that they had gotten more monitoring equipment in and connected the electronic equipment for monitoring the electrocardiogram.
Mr. SPECTER - At what time did you return to President Kennedy's room?
Dr. HUNT - I don't know--it would probably have been maybe 3 or 4 or 5 minutes from the time I stepped out, because I went across the hall--I didn't know the Governor was there, and someone told me and I went in and just took a brief look at him to sort of size up his condition, and stepped out and sent for my equipment and went back in and stayed until they brought my equipment. It would have been a little longer than 4 or 5 minutes because they had to bring the equipment down the elevator and it had arrived and been there a few minutes---3 or 4 minutes before we were ready to take him upstairs.
Mr. SPECTER - And what was going on in the President's room when you returned there?
Dr. HUNT - Well, there were still a goodly number of people, oh, at least 10 people, possibly there were more--I'm not real sure, but there were still--at that time there were, I know, at least three anesthesiologists in there--Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Akin, and Dr. Giesecke, and I believe Dr. Baxter was in there and Dr. Perry was still there.
Mr. SPECTER - Were they still working on the President at that time?
Dr. HUNT - Yes, sir; I don't know what they were doing.
Mr. SPECTER - How long did you stay on that occasion?
Dr. HUNT - Just, oh, a minute just long enough to catch Dr. Giesecke's eye and let him know I was there and going out.
Mr. SPECTER - And did you ever return to the President's room?
Dr. HUNT - No; I don't believe I did--no; I'm sure I didn't, because I came on upstairs with Governor Connally.
Mr. SPECTER - And did you participate then with Governor Connally's operation?
Dr. HUNT - I helped Dr. Giesecke during the induction of anesthesia.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you talked to any representative of the Federal Government prior to today?
Dr. HUNT - No; I haven't.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you make any written report of your participation in the care of Governor Connally and President Kennedy?
Dr. HUNT - Not directly. Dr. Giesecke called me one day and said that, I think it was the A.M.A. was here and just wanted to verify my movements for the day, which I told him and he in turn told them that--I did not appear before them.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you make any written reports yourself?
Dr. HUNT - No.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you have any notes of any sort concerning your participation?
Dr. HUNT - None whatsoever.
Mr. SPECTER - Prior to the time the court reporter started to take down the transcript of my questions and your answers, did you and I have a brief discussion about the purpose of this deposition?
Dr. HUNT - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - And the questions I would ask you?
Dr. HUNT - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - And is the information which you have provided on the record the same as you told me before the written deposition started?
Dr. HUNT - Elaborated somewhat.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you have anything to add which you think might be of aid to the Commission in its investigation?
Dr. HUNT - No, sir; I don't.
Mr. SPECTER - Thank you very much for appearing, Dr. Hunt.
Dr. HUNT - Thank you.