Michael Ellis DeBakey

by Phoebe from San Diego

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Michael DeBakey once said, "Success is achievable without public recognition, and the world has many unsung heroes. The most menial workers can properly consider themselves successful if they perform their best and if the product of their work is of service to humanity." This quote shows how DeBakey solely works on what he believes and does not get affected by what others say about him or his work. DeBakey was born on September 7, 1908, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Shaker Morris and Raheega (Zorba) DeBakey. He was the oldest of five children. His father was a prosperous pharmacist and business person while his mother was "a compassionate person who was always trying to help someone," (WOH). He possesses a hardworking and determined personality as he weaves through multiple medical difficulties, solving each one as he goes. Michael DeBakey was much more than a surgeon; he was an influential hero toward many people because of his feats in WWII, his medical breakthroughs, and his hard working will power.


DeBakey was a strong leader that helped save lives in WWII. While enlisted in the war, he was, "promoted the placement of medical personnel closer to the front lines, thereby fostering the development of mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) units" (Cooley). The idea of putting yourself in the midst of danger to save others is a heroic characteristic in general. Nonetheless he made a deal with the devil and decided to put others lives in front of his. He honestly left no man behind and fought for his fellow soldiers (Pelosi). In addition to his development of the (MASH) units, he " also helped to create systems for treating soldiers returning from war, which became the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center System, and for following veterans with specific medical problems, which became the VA Medical Research Program" (Beck). DeBakey has still contributed to the soldiers even after he participated in the war. This shows how he is doing his work purely out of generosity and care. With these two systems he has created, he has saved millions of soldiers. DeBakey has mustered all of his efforts and created a security blanket for soldiers everywhere.

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DeBakey had multiple medical breakthroughs throughout his lifetime in the medical field. During the 1950's, his "energies were focused on the diagnosis and treatment of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Between 1950 and 1953, using his wife's sewing machine, he created Dacron artificial arteries to replace damaged sections" (Beck). Instead of using countless amounts of money DeBakey possessed, he managed to make a revolutionary medical tool with just his wife's sewing machine and his brain. As people may imagine, it might be fairly difficult to create such advanced technology with just a sewing machine and a brain, but somehow he managed to make a path to success using minimalistic items. He possessed a strong determined intentness to help people. Seeing that DeBakey has those traits, he continued to pursue his medical researching. His "other procedures. pioneered were the removal and graft replacement of an aneurysm, the removal of blockage in a carotid artery, the resection and grafting on the ascending aorta and on the section of the aorta that curves over the heart, and the patch-graft angioplasty to reverse narrowing of an artery" (Beck). He has created so many beneficial things to the human world, that he has saved countless lives and put himself in the position of a true savior and hero. DeBakey could have stopped after creating one medical device, but he continued to research more cures for many diseases and problems relating to the human heart. DeBakey continued to help people even though his help was no longer needed.

DeBakey had an inspiration/caring will power. He strived to help others as well as help the community by "applying his prestige to influencing public medical policy-even if that policy went against the feelings of other physicians" (Beck). Although other scientists have presented valid information, DeBAkey shows individuality and stayed true to himself and his work. That itself can be looked upon by various people. In addition, In addition, "Dr. DeBakey's mother taught him to be compassionate, generous, and kind. Dr. DeBakey learned those values on weekly trips with his parents to visit children at the local orphanage" (Pelosi). When he isn't in a tab conducting research for heart cures. he is putting smiles on orphans' faces. He continues to be an inspirational surgeon while possessing multiple beneficial personality traits such as generosity and kindness.

Michael DeBakey was so much more than an average surgeon. He was an inspirational and generous person and he played a major part in the development of medical technology in the office as well as WWII. Michael DeBakey has made multiple systems to benefit soldiers and people in general. During this process, he has saved millions of people on and off the war zone. He has also contributed a lot to society and has developed gadgets that help the heart in the form of procedures and tools.. DeBakey is an inspirational icon to me and other because of his outgoing and caring personality as well as attitude towards his work and others. Because of his strong mind and his capability see the importance of heart health and kindness, Michael Ellis DeBakey expresses the true meaning of being a hero.

                                                                          Works Cited

Beck, Sheila. "Michael E. DeBakey." The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Thematic

Series: The 1960s. Ed. William L. O'Neill and Kenneth T. Jackson. New York: Charles

Scribner's Sons, 2003. Biography in Context. Web. 4 Feb. 2016

Cooley, Denton A. "In Memoriam: Michael E. DeBakey, 1908-2008." Texas Heart Institute

Journal. Texas Heart Institute, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2016

"Michael Ellis DeBakey." World of Health. Gale, 2007. Biography in Context. Web. 29 Jan. 2016

"Pelosi: 'By Literally Fixing Broken Hearts, Dr. DeBakey Has Given Hope and Health to Millions'."

US Newswire 23 Apr. 2008. Research in Context. Web. 4 Feb. 2016

Page created on 7/4/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 7/4/2016 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

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