Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Heart surgeon

Denton Cooley

In college, Cooley majored in zoology, but took some pre-med classes and became interested in surgery — heart surgery. He completed his training at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins, where he worked with the renowned surgeon Alfred Blalock, and assisted in the first surgery to correct Tetralogy of Fallot — a congenital heart defect better known as “Blue Baby” syndrome. In the 1950s Cooley returned to his native Houston, Texas, to practice, and came up with a new way to repair aortic aneurysms — a bulging of the major artery coming out of the heart, which often leads to sudden death. He is best known as the surgeon who first implanted a completely artificial heart into a human, a “desperate” attempt to save the patient’s life (which failed). Cooley founded the Texas Heart Institute, which has performed more than 118,000 open heart surgeries. Once, he was testifying in a court case when the lawyer examining him asked if he thought he was the best heart surgeon in the world. Dr. Cooley answered yes. “Don’t you think that’s being rather immodest?” the lawyer taunted. “Perhaps,” Cooley responded, “but remember I’m under oath.” Indeed, “Dr. Cooley is probably the very best heart surgeon who has ever lived,” Dr. James T. Willerson, the current president of the Texas Heart Institute, said in 2014. “He has great technical skills, enormous experience, the courage to tackle these things, and wonderful judgment about what needed to be done in individual patients.” For many years, Cooley and his THI colleagues “were doing most of the heart surgery for the entire United States, in adults and children.” Dr. Cooley died November 17, at 96.

From This is True for 20 November 2016


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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