Friday, April 8, 2011
Conway with the daughter and widow of Dr. Giancarlo Rastelli at St. Louis Children's Hospital 4/6/11
Conway doesn't realize it now, of course, but someday he'll be able to look back at this picture and hear stories about the time that he met Dr. Antonella Rastelli. He's been introduced to far too many doctors in his short life but this one was different. She didn't examine him, poke or prod him. She held him and talked to him and told his mommy all about her father, Dr. Giancarlo Rastelli. You see, her father is a big reason why Conway is alive today and why he's got a great chance at keeping his special heart going strong for the next 75 years. Dr. Gian Rastelli was the heart surgeon whose pioneering work led to the surgical procedure he developed using a conduit to connect the RV and the PA in transposition cases involving pulmonary stenosis (The Rastelli Procedure). The version of the double switch Conway had done in 2007 was called the Rastelli-Senning. Here's a little bit about the life of the great doctor. We were so blessed to be able to hear her speak about him and the kind of man he was. Usually these types of physicians are "untouchables" but he was different. She shared many excerpts from his own letters back to his family in Italy that he wrote during his years conducting research and surgery at the Mayo Clinic. It was fascinating to hear how passionate he was for his work, and how dedicated he was even after a life changing diagnosis of his own. To think of the sacrifices those women made so that he could develop that procedure... it's just mind-boggling!
Posted by Erin Beckemeier at 1:37 PM