Yup, you read it correctly! I did say that a process engineer repaired his own heart!
I was browsing some of the talks on TED’s website and the following video, “Tal Golesworthy: How I repaired my own heart,” caught my attention. And so, I watched it (not the whole thing as I am on campus about to leave for Calculus class)!
People are doing amazing things these days!
How could a process engineer, not even a biomedical one, repair his own heart? Well, it happened, you guys! He brought together a team of individuals from various disciplines and designed a plastic valve that would replace the real aorta valve. If compared to the actual process done by the doctors for his particular disease, his technique:
1.) Takes two hours only as opposed to six hours
2.) No antibiotic therapy necessary post operation
3.) No anticoagulation drugs to be taken after the surgery
4.) No need for heart/lung bypass
5.) No need to cool the entire body
Wow! This is very inspiring. When he was told by the doctors that he needed an extremely complicated heart surgery, he did not jump at the opportunity to have his heart repaired by them. He thought about the process and the quality of life obtained after the surgery. He did not like it for the thought of being on anticoagulation drugs (by the way, which come with side effects) for as long as he lived did not appeal to him at all. He disliked the process as well for he has to be under for at least six hours while the doctors performed heart/lung bypass and cooled his body temperature. In addition, he hated that if he were to go with the doctor’s current “gold standard” technique, he would have to be dependent on the anticoagulation medication and as well as antibiotic therapy for as long as he lives. With this in mind, he set out to repair his own heart with assistance from a team that he brought together. Together, they developed their own plastic valve that does not require for any of the above listed things to happen! Isn’t that cool?!!
This story motivates and inspires to do and be better! I would like to be able to do something excellent that improves public health. Just gotta keep learning and practicing till then!