Alfred Blalock (1899-1964), a cardiologist (therefore, self-confident to the point of arrogance), leaves Vanderbilt for Johns Hopkins taking with him his lab technician, Vivien Thomas (1910-1985). Thomas, an African-American without a college degree, is a gifted mechanic and tool-maker with hands splendidly adept at surgery. In 1941, Blalock and Thomas take on the challenge of blue babies and invent bypass surgery. After trials on dogs, their first patient is baby Eileen, sure to die without the surgery. In defiance of custom and Jim Crow, Blalock brings Thomas into the surgery to advise him, but when Life Magazine and kudos come, Thomas is excluded. Will he receive his due? Written by
A breakthrough that changed the face of medicine. A unique partnership that broke the rules.
Did You Know?
Based in part on the magazine article "Like Something The Lord Made" by Katie McCabe. It was published in the Washingtonian and earned McCabe the 1990 National Magazine Feature Writing Award. See more
Immediately following the very first Blalock-Taussig Shunt, baby Eileen Saxon became pink and her oxygen saturation level (SpO2) shows 100%. BT Shunt, as a palliative procedure, does NOT correct fully the cyanosis, which may be corrected later in life with a several steps procedure using cardiopulmonary bypass. Babies after BT shunt usually shows SpO2 80-85% being nicely pink. See more
Vivian, that's a girl's name.
Yes, my mother was so sure she was having a girl, she picked the name early and kept it.
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Written by Hugh Prince
(as Hughie Prince) and Don Raye
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises See more