Portrait No. 48

Lam Qua, 1801-1860
Physical Description:
61 cm. x 47 cm.
Framed, oil on board
Man with a tumor of the right side of the head involving the ear.
Thirteenth Report, Chinese Repository, vol. 14, 1845, p. 450-452: No. 15009, October 16th, 1844. Glandular tumor. Yáng Káng, aged 35, of Singhwui, latterly a beggar in Macao, had tumor on the right side of his face, which commenced in the situation of a parotid gland, measuring two feet and six inches in circumference, weighing when extirpated 6 ½ catties, equal to 8 2/3 lbs. It commenced ten years since and when his magnitude disabled him from acquiring a maintenance by labor he had no resource but begging. His burden, wearisome to bear for an hour, he could not put off for a moment, day or night, from year to year. He had been a loathsome and pitiable object to the foreign citizens for a long time, and sometimes on passing him on the street he presented, from unknown authors, written appeal of sympathy and a request that the poor man might be relieved of his burden. He was greatly delighted when informed on the feasibility of an operation, and resigned if the result should be fatal, as he deemed death preferable to life of mendacity and suffering. Oct 26th, the tumor was extirpated. (…) The patient discovered great fortitude, coolly remarking on commencement of the first incision “It hurts, doctor”. The tumor was a glandular structure, and being laid open it was found to be discolored in parts, and containing small cavities filled with dark mucilaginous fluid, and others with yellowish or lympid. Portions of the tissue cut harder than the rest, and approached a cartilaginous and semi osseous structure. The magnitude of the operation, the elliptical incisions being eighteen inches each, and the adhesion at the base, over the parotid, being deep and strong, rendered it impossible it should be performed with ordinary solicitude. The mingling hope of success and fears of the worst possible consequences, excited devout and sincere intercessions at the throne of grace on his behalf, and an earnest use of means to prepare him to whatever might the divine atonement. He was told that others fervently entreated the high God to save him, but it was desired that he himself should pray to him who alone could succeed the means to be used when laid upon the operation table (…) again he was urged to lift his heart to the God of heaven and the only Savior. Tumor extirpated with success and the man recovered in three weeks. [The man] A living monument of gratitude, witnessed by thousands who come thither. Though mild and gentle, he possesses much natural energy of character, and commands attention when the dense crowd requires him to raise his voice. The transition from the condition of a beggar from the streets of Macao to that of a door-keeper in the Ophthalmic hospital, no doubt seems to him great, but the infinitely more desirable one of conversion from an idolater to a trophy of redeeming love can alone form the climax of our desires concerning him.
Donated by Peter Parker to the Yale School of Medicine and transferred to the Historical Library.
Variant Titles:
Yáng Káng
Medicine, Chinese
Missions and Missionaries
Missions, Medical
Case No. 15009
Parker, Peter, 1804-1888
Yáng Káng
paintings (AAT)
Content Type:
Paintings & Drawings
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Access Restrictions:
Source Title:
Peter Parker Collection
Yale Collection:
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
Digital Collection:
Lam Qua's Portraits of Peter Parker's Patients