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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 's nonfiction books have received numerous awards, among them two Newbery Honors, the Sibert Medal, three Orbis Pictus awards, the Margaret A. Edwards award, the James Madison Book Award, and a National Book Award nomination. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim lives in Maplewood, NJ, with his family. jimmurphybooks.com.
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