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The Mission of the Capital City Sunrise Rotary Club is to support community and international projects by caring for others and sharing fellowship with all.
 
Club Information

Welcome to the Capital City Sunrise Rotary Club of Concord, NH

Capital City Sunrise-Cncd

The Little Club that Does

We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 7:00 AM
Kimball-Jenkins Estate
Carriage House
266 N Main St
Concord, NH 03301
United States of America
Zoom
Home Page Stories
Mike speaks to Johns Hopkins Hospital President Redonda Miller.
 
Editor's note: Mike Edenburn spoke to Capital City from Cebu, the Philippines on 2-18-2021
 
by Gary Logan.

On a recent August morning, Hugh Michael Edenburn walked into the atrium of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center at his usual swift pace. When information receptionist Elyse Geber learned who the 76-year-old visitor was, however, she had to catch her breath.

“Oh my God,” she greeted him, placing her hand on her heart. “You’re history.”

On Oct. 2, 1945, Edenburn, then 2 years and 7 months, underwent the “blue baby” operation to repair a congenital heart defect that had taken the lives of thousands of infants until the groundbreaking surgery was developed and introduced at Johns Hopkins in 1944. As a former respiratory therapist at the Children’s Center, Geber knew all about tetralogy of Fallot, the deadly condition marked by a bluish or “cyanotic” tint to the child’s skin due to the lack of blood flow to the lung. She also knew the history of the landmark surgery led by Alfred Blalock, of the essential diagnostic work by pediatric cardiologist Helen Taussig and of the critical laboratory studies by surgical technician Vivien Thomas. To have a patient in front of her three-quarters of a century later, Geber felt, was astonishing. Colleagues aware of his arrival were equally thrilled.

“As a heart surgeon at Johns Hopkins, it’s a fantastic honor to meet you,” said Robert Higgins, director of the Department of Surgery. “This is the place that initially gave us the ability to treat people with heart disease. To be in the presence of somebody who was treated by the person who started it all is pretty remarkable.”             “You are an example and a reminder of our past, of innovations in cardiac surgery and how pediatric cardiology came to be a specialty,” said Shelby Kutty, co-director of the Blalock-Taussig-Thomas Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “Your visit has helped me think through the history of the Blue Baby operation and the extreme collaboration that made it possible.”

“Amazing!” added Johns Hopkins Hospital President Redonda Miller, shaking her head as Edenburn, trim and beaming with energy, approached her in the lobby of the Billings Administration Building, the home of the original hospital. “Do you feel well?”

“Yes, of course,” answered Edenburn. “My doctors tell me my blood chemistry is that of a very healthy 25-year-old. I got the results in my computer; I can show you,” he added, leaving Miller doubled over with laughter.
 
When Edenburn was a toddler in Waterloo, Iowa, his health was dramatically different. Without enough oxygen to reach his lungs, doctors informed his mother, he would be bedridden by 3 years old and dead by 5 or 6. Prepare yourself, they said.

Instead, after reading an article in Collier’s magazine about Blalock’s revolutionary surgery, she prepared to take her son to Baltimore. He was a candidate for the procedure that provided a second chance at oxygenation by joining an artery leaving the heart to an artery leading to the lungs, a procedure that came to be known as the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Taussig logged Edenburn into her patient registry as Blue Baby #44.