He has angered advocates, but a friend recalls him speaking about homelessness ‘only with compassion’. What will Carson do about it on a national stage?

Can a person lead a full life with only half their brain? In the 1980s, Ben Carson believed they could. Long before he became head of the federal housing agency, and thus a de facto homelessness czar, Carson was a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and helped popularize the hemispherectomy, a radical treatment for intractable epilepsy. It involved excising an entire hemisphere of the brain; surprisingly, many of his patients prospered after.

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