“Last month, I travelled to Bristol to meet 37-year-old Heather Perry, one of a very small number of people to have voluntarily undergone trepanation for non-medical reasons. As we ate a pub lunch, I asked Heather about her experience. Below is a transcript of our conversation.
M: How did you first hear about trepanation, and why did you decide to have it done?
HP: The first time I heard about trepanation was when I was a kiddie. I was really into Bob Dylan and John Lennon, and I remembered that Lennon had mentioned that he wanted it done. He had spoken to Bart Huges about it, and Bart had said that he didn’t think Lennon’s cranial sutures had healed anyway, because he was such a creative person. At the time, I just thought “Wow! That’s a bit freaky” and didn’t think much more about it. Then later on, I did a lot of acid, which kind of mashed my head up a bit. I remember getting these pressure or tension headaches, and thinking that John Lennon said he was going to do it to relieve the pressure. By the mid-nineties, I started to realize that it wasn’t dangerous, and decided that I was going to it if I could find somebody to give me a hand. But that proved to be quite difficult, so then I let it drop for a while. One of my initial reasons for wanting to have it done was for more mental energy and clarity. I had been working in Cheltenham, and got made redundant. I bought a computer, got online, and eventually got in touch with Pete Halvorson in the States, who had trepanned himself in the early 1970s. I was going over for a wedding anyway, so we arranged to meet so he could help me with it.”