This month’s TMC Pulse cover features Dr. Denton A. Cooley. Growing up in a small town in Mississippi, I was aware of the legend of Dr. Cooley and the incredible work being done in the Texas Medical Center. His work came to life through the firsthand account provided to me by a local general surgeon who permitted me to follow him everywhere he went during my high school years, even allowing me to scrub on cases with him once I was a college premed student.
Dr. Cooley performed Dr. McCraw’s coronary artery bypass operation in the early 1970s, and he mesmerized me with details of how he was one of twenty operations performed by Dr. Cooley and his team that day. Following his convalescence, Dr. Cooley permitted Dr. McCraw to go behind the scenes to watch the coordinated effort orchestrated by the Texas Heart Institute day in and day out. Learning that Dr. Cooley was the surgeon to the surgeons clearly inspired and motivated me to become a heart surgeon. I first met Dr. Cooley at the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons annual meeting in New Orleans in 1984 when I was a second year surgical resident. I naively just went up to this giant in American surgery and introduced myself and told him of my dream to be a heart surgeon. He was gracious and encouraged me to work hard to chase my goal.
In the years that followed, I got to know Dr. Cooley and was fortunate enough to be visiting the TMC on his 76th birthday. He had just performed a minimally invasive coronary artery bypass operation with the heart beating without the support of the heart lung machine. He told me that surgeons needed to remain curious, to innovate and to learn new methods to improve the care of their patients.
Dr. Cooley developed a friendship with my mentor, Dr. Shumway, the Stanford heart surgeon who is recognized as the Father of Heart Transplantation. They were members of a senior cardiac surgeons traveling golf group and enjoyed many memorable rounds of golf together. I always enjoyed Dr. Cooley’s visits to Stanford and when we established the annual Shumway lecture, Dr. Cooley served as the inaugural speaker.
Dr. Cooley has performed more heart operations than any surgeon in history. It has been my great fortune to know and learn from him. We are all so blessed to have him as the pioneering, innovative spiritual leader of the Texas Medical Center and we all should be inspired to continue the work that has been Dr. Cooley’s life mission — improving the health of the people of Houston, Texas, our nation and the world.
RT @bcm_ocd: So excited to have Dr. Jeff Wood present the results of our NIH funded study examining personalized CBT vs. standard care CBT…
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Louis D. Brinner, who served as a rifleman in Europe during WWII and turns 100 Nov. 22: https://t.co/g8CQSNuLTI
At @TexasChildrens, we know all about helping children and their families through stressful times like surgeries. Take a look at these helpful tools to use as you prepare for your child's surgery: https://t.co/4wyHxbjcxe https://t.co/xBp95faWly
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@ShirleyHelenTx We're sending good vibes your way, Shirley. Please let us know if your husband needs anything while he's here.
A "silent heart attack" is caused by ischemia, a temporary blood shortage. Sometimes the shortage causes the pain of angina pectoris. But in other cases, there is no pain. These cases are called silent ischemia, or "silent heart attacks." https://t.co/UKu4mglkKJ
After seeing photos of herself from a family celebration, Adriana Mercado was shocked at how unhealthy she looked. Now, thanks to a walking routine, she’s lost 70 pounds and improved her overall health: https://t.co/dx7z4STihG @FocusedonHealth #endcancer https://t.co/NVmGyo6r8W
University of Houston@UHouston
Coogs, we love you ❄️SNOW❄️ much! Happy #CougarRedFriday https://t.co/d43lBGfJBX
@debadrita_j Thank you!
@EstopinalCathy We're sorry to hear about your brother, Cathy. You're in our thoughts.
VA, Prostate Cancer Foundation seek solutions for aggressive prostate cancer https://t.co/uGXX5vPImo via #VAntagePoint
@debadrita_j This is beautiful! Can we share this on Instagram and credit you?
RT @UTH_CVSurgery: Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Estrera @estrera_md, honored and appointed the Hazim J. Safi, MD, Distinguished Chair in…