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July 16, 2008

Cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey Dies

The cardiovascular surgeon that created a host of heart procedures, Dr. Michael DeBakey has passed away at the age of 99. He was responsible for giving us the bypass surgery a procedure that is performed on a regular basis now. He also made a score of other heart devices that have saved millions of lives.

DeBakey’s long life was ended by what we all want life to be ended by, natural causes. He lived just a year short of a century and made great strides in the cardiovascular realm. To think, DeBakey was born in the early 1900’s when the procedures and devices that he would later create were completely unthinkable. Lives were ended when there were heart complications and that was just how things were. Then Debakey came along and changed everything. He lived an extraordinary life and the world owes him a debt that can never be repaid.

DeBakey operated on world leaders and changed the landscape of Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital. DeBakey begin making devices to assist the heart while he was still in medical school. The roller pump, his firs invention came in 1932. it would become a chief component in the heart-lung machine which is the device that makes open heart surgery possible. It works for the heart and lings while the surgery is being performed.

Debakey also created artificial hearts and heart pumps that are still used to assist patients when they are waiting for transplants. In 2006 DeBakey had a aorta repaired using the surgical procedures that he developed. As most leaders are, DeBakey was stubborn about the procedure and had refused treatment initially. Finally his wife and doctors decided that operating was necessary when the famous surgeon was admitted to the hospital near death. Even though he was 97 at the time, the chance that the operation might keep this pioneer in the world longer was enough hope to push the operation forward.

Dr. Michael De Bakey is a man that truly lived life to it’s fullest extent. He challenged and overcame the obstacles that other surgeons let stand in their ways. His ability to think outside of the box and believe that he had the power to make change the world drove his life. Think all the lives that would have been lost throughout the years if DeBakey did not have the inspiration to dream. He dreamed the big dreams and they came true.

Dr. Debakey has been praised by his colleagues and critics alike. Even though there were some the did not agree with his constant push to go above and beyond the status quo, succeeding to make real change silenced his critics. Dr. DeBakey saved the lives of those living in destitute Third World countries and the lives of kings and presidents. He was just one of those people in the world that had the gift to see more than the rest of the world. He had vision that is rare and will be hard to match.

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