The Iowa Man Who Had Hiccupps for 68 Years
Earlier this week we told you about one of the world's tallest men who came from the small town of Anthon, Iowa. While Benard the Giant was busy growing over 8 feet tall, another resident of Anthon would soon be dealing with something completely different.
This is the true story of Charles Osborne, the Iowa farmer who had the world's worst case of the hiccups.
Charles was born in Anthon over 100 years ago in 1894. He was just three years older than Bernard. It's not certain if they even knew each other, but in a small town of only a few hundred people, these two could have passed for Mutt and Jeff, a popular comic strip of the day.
The trouble started in 1922 when Charles was working:
I was hanging a 350 pound hog for butchering. I picked it up and then I fell down. I felt nothing, but the doctor said later that I busted a blood vessel the size of a pin in my brain.
According to reports, his doctor said this small brain injury caused Charles to suffer the world's worst case of hiccups. Hiccups are basically a spasm of the diaphragm, a muscle that sits behind the breast bone.
For years he would hiccup about 40 times each minute. Charles tried every remedy you could think of, like the obvious: a drink of water, sudden scare, etc. He also sought the professional treatment of multiple doctors. Nothing worked.
Strangely enough, he would not hiccup while he was asleep, but they would quickly return when he woke up.
Even more strange is the fact that his hiccups mysteriously stopped about a year before he died in 1991 of natural causes at the age of 97.
Charles became a bit of a celebrity and was even a guest on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Still, he was just a regular guy who lived a pretty normal life according to family and friends. He was married twice and was father to eight children.
The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Charles as the person who suffered the "longest bout of hiccups". It's estimated that he hiccuped over 430 million times over his lifetime.