(1910-1985)
 
We’re celebrating black heroes who made history, and I want to introduce you to Vivien Thomas, the grandson of a slave who became a heart surgery pioneer.
 
In 1930, Thomas became a laboratory assistant for Dr. Alfred Blalock at Vanderbilt University. However, because of institutional racism, he was classified and paid as a janitor. Nevertheless, Thomas rapidly mastered complex surgical techniques and research methodology. 
 
Thomas rapidly mastered complex surgical techniques and research methodology. 
 
In 1941, Blalock became Chief of Surgery at Johns Hopkins and Thomas accompanied him. It was there that Thomas and Blalock created a solution for “blue baby syndrome.” In the 1940s, operating on the heart was unthinkable. However, Thomas created a blue baby-like condition in a dog, then corrected the condition through heart surgery. Over two years, he successfully performed the procedure on over 200 dogs. 
 
In 1944, the first procedure on a human baby was successful. Thomas coached Blalock throughout the operation from a step-stool. However, Thomas received no credit from Blalock or the medical field. 
 
It took more than 25 years before Thomas received public recognition for his role in creating the Blue Baby surgery.
 
It took more than 25 years before Thomas received public recognition for his role in creating the Blue Baby surgery. In 1976, Johns Hopkins University awarded him an honorary doctorate and established the Vivien Thomas Fund to increase diversity at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, thus honoring his memory by removing for others the economic and racial barriers that often stood in his way.
 
Check out more from Dr. Tony Evans @tonyevans.org

About The Author

Dr. Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.


At the heart of this vision is the use of church and school partnerships to effect spiritual and social change in communities. Dr. Evans’ church and school outreach philosophy has been attributed as a catalyst for former President George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiative, which was his first formal act of office. Dr. Evans seeks to train churches, schools and volunteers in this philosophy, as well as in the functional practicalities, through the National Church Adopt-A-School Initiative which is a ministry underneath the umbrella of The Urban Alternative.


Dr. Evans serves as president of The Urban Alternative, a national ministry that seeks to restore hope and transform lives through the proclamation and the application of the Word of God. His daily radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 850 radio outlets throughout the United States and in more than 80 countries.


Dr. Evans has written numerous books and booklets including his legacy work, Oneness Embraced, as well as his vision work, The Kingdom Agenda. Some of his most recent books includes, Kingdom Man, A Moment For Your Soul, Marriage Matters, and Victory in Spiritual Warfare.



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