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100,000 Hearts: A Surgeon’s Memoir Hardcover – Jan 15 2012

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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: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #407,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Denton A. Cooley, M.D., is a world-renowned surgeon and founder of the Texas Heart Institute.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa68ab810) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa20d02dc) out of 5 stars The Greater Good May 2 2012
By Osprey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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
HASH(0xa20d0330) out of 5 stars A beautifully written book that is a pleasure to read May 4 2012
By Anne C - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa20d0768) 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
HASH(0xa20d0750) out of 5 stars 100,000 Hearts: A Great Memoir Jan. 10 2012
By bigpete10092 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa20d0c0c) out of 5 stars A Great Memoir Indeed! May 15 2012
By Soriguana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I wish to add my voice to the growing number of readers who have given this book 5 stars. As the previous reviewer named "bookish" states, "a great man deserves a great memoir," and Dr. Cooley definitely has a great memoir in this delightful volume. His writing style is anything but flat or monotonous, as "bookish" claims. Rather, it's charming and conversational. Because Amazon shoppers aren't currently able to "look inside" this book to judge for themselves, I will include a few quotes:

Page 16: "One day, after a heavy rain, some neighbor boys joined [my brother] Ralph and me in a mud-ball fight. Bored with targeting each other, we turned our attention to the cars passing in front of our house. As we happily splattered one vehicle after another with mud, one of our victims stopped his car and came after us yelling. Hearing a commotion, Daddy came outside to investigate. He quickly cut off the driver's complaints. 'My boys would never do such a thing,' he insisted. 'Get off my property!' Unfortunately, it was only a brief reprieve. Daddy took us in the house and spanked us with the leather strap that he used to sharpen his straight razor. From then on, automobiles driving by our house enjoyed safe passage."

Page 70: "[In proposing to Louise], I was so nervous that I dropped the ring. Her boxer dog, Clipper, picked it up in his mouth. I had to grab the dog in a stranglehold to keep him from swallowing the ring. I managed to retrieve it from his mouth and give it to Louise. This was not a very romantic beginning to our engagement."

Pages 101-102: [In 1955, Dr. Cooley and his colleague Dan McNamara went to the University of Minnesota to observe open heart surgery there. Their host, Dr. Walt Lillehei, took them out for steaks, drinks, and dancing the night before they were scheduled to watch him operate.] "Because hotel rooms were scarce, Dan and I were sharing a room that had only one double bed. The next morning, I woke up about 8:30 or 9:00, feeling awful and wondering why there was a man in my bed. . . . We arrived in the operating room about 9:30. Walt Lillehei and his small team, mostly residents, were planning to correct a ventricular septal defect. The patient, a child, was on one table, and the father was on an adjacent table, already hooked up for cross-circulation. But Walt was nowhere in sight. At about 10:00, he finally arrived--looking clammy, sweaty, and in need of medical attention himself. Although I was concerned about both the patient and the father, Walt and his team performed the operation superbly and successfully."

Yes, the book tends to be self-absorbed--that's the nature of a memoir--but its tone is far from self-aggrandizing. On the contrary, Dr. Cooley tells his life story with restraint, graciousness, and humility. I saw no trace of the disparagement of Dr. Michael DeBakey that several other reviewers have complained about. Dr. Cooley had some criticisms about most of his mentors--including Blalock, Brock, DeBakey, and Lillehei--and also about himself. However, he continued to hold each of his mentors in high esteem and to be grateful for their influence on his career. On page 198, he says, "Looking back, I will always be indebted to Mike [DeBakey] for giving me a faculty position at Baylor and the opportunity to continue my academic career. During the early years, we were close, and I usually enjoyed being his colleague. As a mentor, he was generous with his time, and I learned a great deal from him that shaped my career. Ironically, I think that our historic rivalry enhanced his reputation as well as mine, serving both of our careers well. Most of all, our competitiveness benefited the Texas Medical Center and its patients. For me, that is the greatest good that could have come from it all."

By reading Dr. Cooley's memoir, I gained a new appreciation for him and all the other cardiovascular pioneers he describes. The book also provides a lot of general information about heart disease and its treatment. It deserves a wide audience among both medical and lay readers.