Produced by Spark Media and Duke Media for PBS American Experience. Narrated by Morgan Freeman.
Winner National Endowment for the Humanities Top 50 – 2015; 2010 Gold TIVA Peer Award for Best Documentary Classic; Erik Barnouw Award for Best History Documentary; Gold Special Jury Award, Houston International Film Festival; CINE Award; Chris Award; Telly Award
Andrea Kalin - Director; Producer; Writer
Bill Duke - Director, Re-Creations
Skip Coblyn - Consulting Producer; Assistant Director for Re-Creations
Robin Coblyn - Researcher; Production Associate
Chris Haley - Actor as Vivian Thomas
Against the backdrop of segregation, Vivien Thomas, a black carpenter's apprentice with a genius for surgery, and Dr. Alfred Blalock, a renowned white surgeon, dared to defy medical gospel by forging a partnership that changed the course of medical history. The two men's work together led to one of the century's major breakthroughs - a daring heart operation that saved thousands of children afflicted with a congenital heart defect called "Blue Baby Syndrome." With only a high school degree, Thomas became a cardiac pioneer and a teacher to two generations of America's premier heart surgeons at a time when he himself could not become one. His journey is a compelling, often overlooked American story of personal triumph over the strictures of his time.
Learn about some of the major structural heart defects and how they occur. This is an overview and can help you understand these defects so you can give support to others and have a better understanding of CHDs in general.