A miracle-worker was born on this day in Lake Charles, Louisiana: Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey (1908-2008), the father of heart surgery. His treatments and inventions revolutionized cardiovascular medicine.
DeBakey once said, "There are similarities, but each heart is different."
In 1932, Dr. DeBakey invented the roller pump for the heart-lung machine which made coronary by pass surgery possible. In 1953, he performed the first blockage removal in the carotid artery. Three years later, he was the first to use patch-graft angioplasty. In 1966, the transplant pioneer was the first to successfully use an artificial heart.
Named a "Living Legend" by the United States Library of Congress in 2000, he worked with NASA in the field of telemedicine--the establishment of virtual house calls--to treat patients in remote locations.
"Over the years, I've done 60,000 operations," he said (Esquire, 2001). "Heart surgeries constitute perhaps a third of those operations. That's about 20,000 hearts I've touched."
"Happiness is the reward of success," he said.
The heart knows... and rules.