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?
According to a Johns Hopkins Medical Archives website about Blalock, Thomas, Taussig, and the Blue Baby surgeries, Eileen Saxon, the infant depicted in the movie as the first to undergo the procedure, became cyanotic again several months later. She died after another attempt at the surgery. Her experience helped the surgical team determine that the procedure worked best on patients who were over 3 years old. See more
After Clara takes her seat on the bus and begins talking to Vivian, a modern SUV, sedan, and pickup truck are briefly visible in a parking lot behind them. See more
[Amazed at Vivien's surgical skill
This is like something the Lord made.
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