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The KHOU-TV Collection - Mexican Heart Patient Operation by DeBakey and Baylor, 1966

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1966

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    This news footage from KHOU in Houston documents a press conference held by the Houston Methodist Hospital upon the release of Esperanza Del Valle Vasquez, the first patient to successfully undergo Dr. Michael DeBakey's bypass surgery using the "DeBakey pump," before she left Houston for Mexico City on September 6, 1966. On Monday, August 8, 1966, Dr. DeBakey performed heart surgery on Vasquez, a 37 year old woman from Mexico City. Ms. Vasquez traveled to Houston to have an operation to replace the valves in her heart damaged by rheumatic fever she suffered from as a child. This was DeBakey's third time to use his "left ventricular bypass" procedure in which he attached a mechanical pump to her body to take over the work of her heart while it recovered from the surgery. The previous two patients lived for only days after the operation, Esperanza was the first person to survive the surgery.
    The digital preservation of this collection was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
    Many more films from the KHOU-TV Collection are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.