"Nobody had fooled around with the heart before."
November 5, 2014 11:57 AM   Subscribe

HBO made a film about Thomas and Blalock called Something the Lord Made, if you are interested.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:25 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]

In a mid-century period drama about black history in which Alan Rickman needs Mos Def to teach him how to do heart surgery and their wives are played by Kyra Sedgwick and Gabrielle Union????? HOLY CHRISTMAS I AM EXTREMELY INTERESTED IN THIS THING OH MY GOD
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:32 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]

Something the Lord Made is really good.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:34 PM on November 5, 2014

The first time I watched Something The Lord Made I called my mom as soon as it was over to make sure that she watched it herself. SO GOOD. Time to read more!
posted by alynnk at 12:48 PM on November 5, 2014

Is this about the Knick? Because I thought Thackery came around on Edwards.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:51 PM on November 5, 2014

This is really good. I'd heard references to Vivien Thomas, but never really heard the full story.
posted by ransom_k_fern at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2014

What a story! Thanks very much for the post; I only wish my mother (who had three open-heart surgeries, the first one in 1960) could have read this article—she'd have loved it.
posted by languagehat at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2014

Wow. This link made my night. Will be looking for Something the Lord Made now.
posted by skybluepink at 1:35 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Amazing man, amazing story.

This has me looking at other winners of the National Magazine Awards for Feature Writing which this piece won in 1990.

Anyone who wants to get no work done should go through and read more of them.
posted by pseudonick at 1:58 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Can I Stream it says Something the Lord Made is only available from Netflix DVD, otherwise you can buy the DVD.

Here's the John Hopkins University page on Thomas, and portraits of Blalock, Thomas and Anna, the only animal with a likeness hanging at Johns Hopkins.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:01 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

What an incredible life, and a story of it. Thank you so much for the post.
posted by rtha at 2:15 PM on November 5, 2014

Something the Lord Made shows up on HBO Go pretty regularly, but it's not on there right now.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:19 PM on November 5, 2014

That's an amazing story! Thanks for posting it.
posted by Azara at 2:36 PM on November 5, 2014

Vivien Thomas was a remarkable man, and I love seeing people learn about him for the first time. My library has an archival collection about Vivien Thomas and Alfred Blalock's time in Nashville. Summaries are online:
biographical information for Vivien Thomas
biographical information for Dr. Alfred Blalock

Also, a bonus! National Library of Medicine's "Vivien T. Thomas: an oral history" (there's also a transcript).
PBS's Partners of the Heart
posted by zoetrope at 3:04 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

The film !might! be up on youtube right now. (As a white Brit born in 77, the incredible gasping multilevel injustices it documents gave me the whacking round the head about the every day experience of the particular racism of the time than To Kill A Mockingbird or Mississippi Burning or what have you ever managed. There is one reallly casual bit where the Bialock and Thomas are walking and talking and Thomas steps off the path to let a white person past that I had to rewind about five times before I could take it in)(mytwocents.com)
posted by runincircles at 3:11 PM on November 5, 2014

What an amazing story!

I found Partners of the Heart on archive.org
posted by hal at 6:10 PM on November 5, 2014

Awwwww. Just awwwwww.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:22 PM on November 5, 2014

Wow, great read. My library has the dvd, Something the Lord Made, so I just put that on hold. Thank you!
posted by BoscosMom at 11:51 AM on November 6, 2014

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