America's 10 Unhealthiest Presidents
10. James MonroeFifth President (1817-1825)
Bullet wound: Before becoming elected president, James Monroe dropped out of college and enlisted as a cadet in the Third Virginia Infantry in 1776. During this time, he fought in the Battle of Trenton, during which he was wounded by a bullet hitting his left shoulder's axillary artery, the major bloodway to his arm. To save his life, a doctor stuck his index finger into the wound to stop Monroe from bleeding out. Surgeons were unable to locate the bullet for removal, so though the president recovered fully, the bullet remained in his shoulder for the rest of his life.
Malaria: In 1785, Monroe contracted malaria while visiting a swampy area of the Mississippi River, and sporadic feverish flare-ups plagued him for years down the line.
Seizure: In August 1825, Monroe suffered a severe seizure that almost killed him. Though the cause was never pinpointed, it's speculated that it could've been triggered by mushroom poisoning, a stroke, or cerebral malaria.
Tuberculosis: In 1830, Monroe developed a chronic lung illness that crippled him for several months, leaving him with labored breathing, fever, night sweats, and a nagging cough that sometimes had him spitting up blood. Though not officially diagnosed as such, his symptoms suggest pulmonary tuberculosis.
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