Thursday, March 03, 2011

Study Of The Heart

I've been writing a piece on an unusual case of transposition of the great arteries and I came across Dr. Richard Van Praagh and his wife, Dr. Stella Van Praagh.

Together in 1965 they created the Cardiac Registry at Children's Hospital Boston, a collection of over 3,600 specimens, some dating back as far as 1944. Pathologists, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons use the Registry to learn more about the anatomy of heart defects.

They continued to direct the Registry until 2002. A tremendous lifelong collaboration, but an even better love story it seems.

He first noticed her at a conference in 1961. She was the woman with the big brown eyes who asked smart questions. They married in 1962.

She died in 2006 and he says, "I miss Stella in so many ways, but I'm making steady progress on our life's work - a clinico-pathological study of more than 3,400 cardiac cases, some never described before... How I wish I could share them with Stella."

Aww. I wish he could share them with Stella too.

Do yourself a favor and read this short bio, in Dr. Van Praagh's own words, about his life and love.


Jen Lewis said...

This is so sweet and sad. I loved reading it. Thank you for sharing.

John Foland said...

I love it before I read it. Just look at their picture. The look seriously happy. Not some put on look for the camera.

Awesome, and jealous.