Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Another journalism coup

Folks one day you will be able to say "I knew Laurie when...". That's right, I have hit the big-time. I have landed another huge interview and come out standing taller (at least a quarter inch) and stronger. Let me break it down for you. Yesterday I went to the Texas Medical Center where one of the educational institutions is making room for faculty and students from Tulane Medical School. Tulane has been displaced because of Hurricane Katrina, so they have relocated to Houston and are starting their classes here. I interviewed the dean of the school along with one of the students, and then I was escorted right in to the motherlode of medical interviews...a half-hour, one-on-one, sit-down interview with Dr. Michael DeBakey!

This man is truly a living legend. He pioneered open heart surgery, heart transplants, bypass surgery and vein replacement. He is responsible for the formation of Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (M.A.S.H.). He invented the roller pump which led to the development of the heart-lung pump which makes open heart surgery possible. He has served as medical advisor to every U.S. president since Harry Truman. He personally supervised Boris Yeltsin's quadruple bypass. His career has spanned more than 70 years, he is 97 years old and still actively involved in cardiovascular research.

And to top it all off, it is almost impossible to get an interview with him! Several years ago my boss tried to interview Dr. DeBakey for a series he was producing about Legends of the Texas Medical Center. It took more than a year for my boss to get access to the interview. But your little teapot reporter here managed it in under 24 hours. Not that I'm bragging or anything...;)

7 comments:

Troy said...

Laurie, you rock! Someone should totally date you!

Aimee said...

Congratulations Laurie! What a fabulous accomplishment =)

dovie said...

If you got your picture with him, I hope your eyes were open!

Shanna said...

Troy, Troy, Troy...

Laurie said...

Troy, shall I tell Shanna or shall you? ;)

Aimee, thanks! It was fun!

Dovie, I called myself all sorts of horrible names afterward for forgetting to get any picture at all! Plus it's not nearly as exciting as meeting John Stott.

Shanna, Troy has something to tell you...

Carissa said...

That is awesome Laurie! My grandmother's 2nd bypass surgery was done by Dr. Cooley back in 1989 - he and Dr. DeBakey did the first ever heart transplant surgery together.

dennis said...

well, actually, Carissa, there is an interesting story about that, and some bad blood (sorry-dr.'s humor) between them, because Cooley was the protege and did it alone while DeBakey was out of town. Hence the clear division between Texas Heart Institute (Cooley's) and the Methodist Heart Center.

But, Shanna, that is really cool. I'm impressed. Good jorb!