Breakthrough! (Hardcover)

How Three People Saved "blue Babies" and Changed Medicine Forever

By Jim Murphy

Clarion Books, 9780547821832, 144pp.

Publication Date: December 8, 2015

List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In 1944 a groundbreaking operation repaired the congenital heart defect known as blue baby syndrome. The operation's success brought the surgeon Alfred Blalock international fame and paved the way for open-heart surgery. But the technique had been painstakingly developed by Vivien Thomas, Blalock's African American lab assistant, who stood behind Blalock in the operating room to give him step-by-step instructions.

The stories of this medical and social breakthrough and the lives of Thomas, Blalock, and their colleague Dr. Helen Taussig are intertwined in this compelling nonfiction narrative.