The Health of Ned Kelly

If life as an outlaw wasn’t hard enough, on top of this were the health issues Ned was also dealing with. While being far removed from the comforts of life inside the law, Ned was suffering from sciatica, a chronic condition caused by damage to the sciatic nerve, which would have left him with considerable pain in his lower back. A mouthful of Joe’s opium tincture or laudanum, would have masked the pain for a little while, but the agonising discomfort would have constantly been there.
In conjunction with this complaint, just before the robbery at Jerilderie, he was noted to be suffering from Sandy Blight, an eye infection resulting from abrasions on the eyes and eyelids. While riding across the dry plains of NSW in summer, the dust that would have been blown into his face would have been extremely irritating and painful, scratching up his eyes in the process.
Even if Ned was the last to admit it, as he himself believed his ribs were one mass of bone, he certainly was not invulnerable, but rather a young man battling with his health.

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