Can We End Heart Disease?
It's 7:30 a.m. in Operating Room 8 at Stanford Medical Center. Amid the preoperative bustle, beeping monitors, and the staff's black humor as they don gloves and gowns, the elderly patient's body on the table is an island of stillness. I see her hand, relaxed, ghostly pale, and gently upturned. I imagine it pruning a rosebush or caressing a grandchild's cheek. I cannot bring myself to look above the green drape to the patient's face. I wish her well, but during the next three hours, I will see more than a stranger should. I will look into her heart.
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