Vivien Thomas's greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr.Read more...
Vivien Thomas's greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.
As Dr. Blalock's research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien's name did not appear in the report.
Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine--children's heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine.
- ISBN-13: 9781620141564
- ISBN-10: 1620141566
- Publisher: Lee & Low Books
- Publish Date: May 2016
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 7-10
- Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.8 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-04-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Vivien Thomas had long strived to become a doctor, but after losing his college savings in the stock market crash of 1929, he instead took a job as a research technician at Vanderbilt University. As an African-American, Thomas’s title was officially “janitor.” Despite persistent racial prejudice, Thomas devised a means to perform open-heart surgery on “blue babies” who were not getting enough oxygen, a procedure that would save the lives of many infants. Hooks writes with vivid detail and immediacy, describing Thomas’s anxiety as he coaches Dr. Blalock, the doctor who originally hired him, on performing the first surgery. Bootman’s subdued watercolors channel the sobering climate of Depression-era America in a sensitive portrayal of a little-recognized medical pioneer. Ages 7–12. Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Christine LeBlond, Susan Schulman Literary. (May)