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?
A breakthrough that changed the face of medicine. A unique partnership that broke the rules.
Did You Know?
Dr. Irving Sorkin, a retired dentist, was instrumental in getting Katie McCabe's article made into a feature film. Dr. Sorkin died of lymphoma on October 18, 2007, at the age of 88. See more
Eileen Saxon becomes pink, with an oxygen saturation level (SpO2) of 100%, immediately after she receives the very first Blalock-Taussig Shunt. The BT Shunt is a palliative procedure, and does NOT fully correct the cyanosis; normal post-procedure SpO2 is 80-85%. The cyanosis may be corrected later with another procedure. See more
You can begin the incision.
I'm not ready for that.
If I say you're ready, you're ready.
I'll mark out the line. And you cut along it. Just like you did for your old Daddy.
Referenced in Dead Teenagers
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