In 1932, DeBakey, a 24-year-old student, developed a roller pump that would be used routinely in a heart-lung machine.
The Louisiana native, now an internationally recognized and respected physician, subsequently invented and perfected scores of medical devices, techniques and procedures. To name just a few of these lifesaving accomplishments: Dr. DeBakey pioneered the development of an artificial heart, was the first to use a heart pump successfully in a patient, conceived the idea of lining a bypass pump with Dacron velour and of constructing artificial arteries of Dacron. He also performed the first successful carotid endarterectomy, establishing the field of surgery for strokes.
Dr. DeBakey also developed the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (M.A.S.H.) concepts for the military. Dr. DeBakey has more than 60,000 cardiovascular procedures under the belt of his surgical gown, and he has trained thousands of surgeons.
He is chancellor emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine-where he joined the faculty 50 years ago-and is director of The DeBakey Heart Center of Baylor and senior attending surgeon at Methodist Hospital of Texas Medical Center.
His students founded the Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society. He has served as advisor to almost every U.S. president in the past 50 years, as well as to heads of state throughout the world.
Dr. DeBakey's writings are reflected in more than 1,300 published medical articles, chapters and books, including The Living Heart) and he has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, the National Medal of Science and the Lasker Award, an American equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
It is impossible to name here all of the procedures and principles that come from the life of Dr. DeBakey, and that have changed so many lives.