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One Hundred Thousand Hearts: A Surgeon's Memoir [Hardcover]

Denton A. Cooley

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Book Description

Jan. 15 2012 Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles
Pioneering surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley performed his first human heart transplant in 1968 and astounded the world in 1969 when he was the first surgeon to successfully implant a totally artificial heart in a human being. Over the course of his career, Cooley and his associates have performed thousands of open heart operations and have been forerunners in implementing new surgical procedures. Of all his achievements, however, Cooley is most proud of the Texas Heart Institute, which he founded in 1962 with a mission to use education, research, and improved patient care to decrease the devastating effects of cardiovascular disease. In his new memoir, 100,000 Hearts, Cooley tells about his childhood in Houston and his experiences as a basketball scholarship recipient at the University of Texas. After medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and Johns Hopkins, Cooley served in the Army Medical Corps. While at Johns Hopkins, Cooley assisted in a groundbreaking operation to correct an infant's congenital heart defect, which inspired him to specialize in heart surgery. Cooley's detailed descriptions of what it was like to be in the operating room at crucial points in medical history offer a fascinating perspective on how far medical science has progressed in just a few decades. Dr. Denton Cooley and the Texas Heart Institute are responsible for much of that progress.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; 1 edition (Jan. 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976669773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976669777
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.1 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #267,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greater Good May 2 2012
By Osprey - Published on Amazon.com
This is a very well written book documenting the life of an outstandingly talented man. Dr. Cooley's story begins with a captivating description of his roots, from which unfolds a hugely interesting chronicle of his education, surgical achievements, conflicts, and personal life. He tells his story with candor and detail, and in a way that easily appeals to the lay reader. Appendices include a comprehensive glossary of medical terms, anatomical drawings of the cardiovascular system, as well as drawings illustrating those diseases of the heart discussed in the text.

One is left with the impression of a man continually striving for the greater good, without whose surgical innovativeness and talent, many patients would have been deprived of a "second chance".
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written book that is a pleasure to read May 4 2012
By Anne C - Published on Amazon.com
Dr. Cooley writes with style, grace, and humor. His warmth and kindness shine through on every page. The stories flow together easily and are often quite funny, and the photos are delightful. This book is a quick read and easily understandable by lay persons. I found it to be moving and inspirational. Anyone would enjoy the book, but it should be of particular interest to young people, especially those considering a career in medicine. The previous negative reviewers seem to have a personal grudge against Dr. Cooley. By using such harsh words against him in an attempt to defend Dr. DeBakey's already excellent reptuation, these reviewers have done a disservice to both of these outstanding surgeons.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book Oct. 2 2013
By Mitsy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Found it fascinating, both the history of open heart surgery and the man. Very well written and easy to follow. Dr. Cooley operated on me when I was one year old in 1962.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100,000 Hearts: A Great Memoir Jan. 10 2012
By bigpete10092 - Published on Amazon.com
After reading the book anyone could say that Denton Cooley is in a true way an all-American. Cooley went to the University of Texas on a basketball scholarship. Not only did he play basketball, was in a fraternity, graduated with highest honors, and served in the Army after medical school. In medical school, he excelled as reaching the top of his class at John Hopkins. What is seemingly clear thought the book is Cooley's work ethic. During his peak years he would wake up 5 a.m. every day and work 15 hours. Cooley today even at 91 gets to the office around 8 and stays until 5. Since 1947, Cooley has published over 1,400 articles which is prolific if you consider that not every article submitted to medical journals get published. Cooley also taught at the University of Texas-Houston medical school and the Baylor College of Medicine. Clearly, Cooley has led a busy life. On top of writing and teaching the thing he is most well known for is the amount of surgeries he has done. The Texas Heart Institute which Cooley is affiliated with has performed over 100,000 surgeries. Cooley stopped performing surgeries at 78 (he is currently 91). Throughout the book he is constantly innovating new techniques or using different devices to try to save the patient's life. Cooley took on difficult cases that other doctors would have never touched. In the period between 1962 and 1967 the mortality rate for people that received heart transplants fell from 70% to 8%. Cooley and Domingo Liotta worked on the first artificial heart which allowed the first patient to live 65 hours. Today artificial hearts can last between 1-2 years. Cooley no doubt helped advanced medicine and promote Houston as one of the best medical centers in the world with St. Luke's. The best part of the story is saved for last when Cooley who had a rift with fellow surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey for 40 years make up.

The book is written from an honest viewpoint and demonstrates how humble Cooley is. Not only does Cooley talk about his successes but he also talks about unfortunate situations like his own personal bankruptcy and the death of one of his daughters. All in all though, Cooley's memoir inspires the reader to make a difference in the world. Cooley has touched so many hearts yet many more lives.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a Cowboy in the OR May 7 2012
By Ozzie - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a fast paced read that is both fun and enlightening. The writing is simple, clear and concise, not unlike the surgical technique Dr. Cooley practiced for 70 years. I found his descriptions of various surgical procedures fascinating and suspenseful, not knowing how it would all end for the patient.

As a reader, I came away with a greater appreciation for the men and women who push the boundaries of medicine in the hope of finding a better way to successfully treat patients. While some may consider Dr. Cooley's boldness in the research lab and the operating room unorthodox, I think he should be applauded for his willingness to innovate and to apply his ideas.

Denton A. Cooley is definitely an exceptional individual. I doubt if anyone will ever surpass his staggering medical and professional accomplishments. This memoir is a wonderful overview of both the personal triumphs and tragedies one man experienced in order to serve others.

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