The man who touched his own heart

“Love is open heart surgery without the anaesthetic…”

R S Oceans

I spend a lot time fiddling chemotherapy catheters into the right side of the heart. I always had great respect for the the first person to come up with the technique. That person was Dr Werner Forssmann. Remarkably not only was the first attempt done with a urinary catheter, Forssmann did it on himself. In the 1920s, the junior German doctor coerced a student nurse to help him with his secret procedure. It was done in a ward side room, late at night. After placing the tube via an arm vein, the duo descended several flights of stairs to document their success with an Xray. Forssman hoped this would be his springboard into a surgical career, but it actually cost him his job. He remained in relative obscurity until 1956, when his exploits were finally recognised with the awarding of a Nobel Prize for Medicine. The fate of the nurse is unknown. #theultimatevolunteer #letsmakelemonade

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