This link ( look for the reference to "plombage") isny actually about my dad.
It's much the same set up, mind you.
(Sam made it to sixty two, for the sake of interest, and I've got a good story about his operation, but that's for another time.)
Broadly, at a certain period in history, if you were in the RAF and you got tuberculosis, they cut your back open and packed around your bad lung with wee polystyrene balls.
Invasive surgery at its best.
When my dad took his shirt off, it looked like he'd been bitten by a shark.
He could be a grumpy old bastard, but I miss him something rotten.
I have no idea why I've suddenly decided to share this. Must be getting old myself.