Dr. Nahush Mokadam, Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Photo credit: Clare McLean

The Huddle | February 12, 2018

I’m always amazed at what we can do in the operating room. We can stop an organ donor’s heart, remove it from their body, pack it in ice, transport it 1,500 miles, stitch it into someone else’s body, and…it beats! It’s truly awe-inspiring. I’ve seen observers and medical students get giddy, which is actually how we all feel,  but we have to be a little detached because we’ve got work to do and a patient to take care of.

want to let the awe out when I talk about my work, but there’s no way to communicate it. It’s truly raw emotion. If you’ve never seen a heart start to beat again, or agonized over one that didn’t start, it’s impossible to describe.

It takes a village. This is assembling a group of people who share a common vision, have similar levels of enthusiasm, and can support each other in times of need, stress and overload. That’s how we did 75 transplants last year, third most in the country. Up and down the list — surgeons and cardiologists, nurses and nurse practitioners, physician assistants, OR staff, social workers, financial counselors, hospital administration, coordinators, colleagues in other departments and divisions — everybody is pulling their weight and opening up the doors to new ideas. MORE