Monday, December 25, 2006

The Man on the Table Was 97, but He Devised the Surgery

Several readers and friends of this blog know that I lived for over 20 years in Houston and worked at St Luke's Episcopal Hospital/Texas Heart Institute where Denton Cooley is chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Luke's.

Michael DeBakey worked next door at The Methodist Hospital.

So, I was astounded and amazed - he was ancient when I lived in Houston (actually I thought he had long since died) - to read in today's New York Times: Over the past 60 years, Dr. DeBakey has changed the way heart surgery is performed. He was one of the first to perform coronary bypass operations. He trained generations of surgeons at the Baylor College of Medicine; operated on more than 60,000 patients; and in 1996 was summoned to Moscow by Boris Yeltsin, then the president of Russia, to aid in his quintuple heart bypass operation.

Now Dr. DeBakey is making history in a different way — as a patient. He was released from Methodist Hospital in Houston in September and is back at work. At 98, he is the oldest survivor of his own operation, proving that a healthy man of his age could endure it.


  1. That's a heartwarming story. Same age as my Dad.

  2. Thanks, Haik, for the comment. Happy New Year to you and your family.


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