having a hole in one's self, called a fistula, which will never close. usually an intentional surgical opening made into a cavity or hollow organ, but sometimes they come about by accident. the best known fistula type is that made in the rumen of a cow; the procedure is generally done so that tests can be run regarding digestion and nutrition.

the first known fistula was actually found in a french canadian, alexis st. martin. in 1822, he sustained a life-threatening musket wound in his side. one dr. william beaumont, the town physician, predicted that st. martin would not last more than 36 hours. however, he survived and most of his injuries healed-- except the hole in his stomach. no matter how hard doctors tried, they couldn't get it to close up again.