In 1944 a groundbreaking operation repaired the congenital heart defect known as blue baby syndrome. The operation's success brought the surgeon Alfred Blalock international fame and paved the way for open-heart surgery. But the technique had been painstakingly developed by Vivien Thomas, Blalock's African American lab assistant, who stood behind Blalock in the operating room to give him step-by-step instructions. The stories of this medical and social breakthrough and the lives of Thomas, Blalock, and their colleague Dr. Helen Taussig are intertwined in this compelling nonfiction narrative.
About the Author
Jim Murphy, a preeminent nonfiction writer, has won numerous awards, including the Sibert Medal and two Newbery Honors. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his family.
Table of Contents
1 In the "Dos House" 1
2 The Professor and His Assistant 16
3 Surrounded by Failure 27
4 Answered and Unanswered Questions 37
5 The Search 47
6 "All the World Is Asainst It" 55
7 "Vivien, You'd Better Come Down Here" 66
8 Then What Happened? 75
Source Notes 103
Picture Credits 123