Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The Michael E. DeBakey Papers

Diary of Trip to Lyon, France and Scotland October 20-29, 1961 pdf (322,953 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Diary of Trip to Lyon, France and Scotland October 20-29, 1961
Number of Image Pages:
8 (322,953 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
20-29 October 1961
DeBakey, Michael E.
Reproduced with permission of Katrin DeBakey.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exhibit Category:
DeBakey as Medical Statesman
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1926-2009
SubSeries: International Travel, 1921, 1935-1939, 1945, 1952-1997, 2005
SubSubSeries: Diaries, 1921-1979
Folder: Trip to France and Scotland, 1961 Oct 20-29
Diary of Trip to Lyon, France and Scotland
Michael E. DeBakey, M.D.
Friday, October 20, 1961
I left Houston on Eastern Air Lines Flight No. 542 at 11:35 p. m. The flight left on time, and was very smooth. I slept through Atlanta, where this flight stopped, and arrived in New York, Idlewild Airport, on time, 5:45 a.m.
Saturday, October 21, 1961
New York was cool, with a drizzly rain. I took a cab to the TWA Terminal and checked in. I was courteously received, and rested in the lounge after getting a haircut, which I badly needed.
At 10:15 a.m. we took off for Paris on TWA Flight No. 802 (Boeing Jet 707), which was scheduled to depart at 9:30 a.m. We were soon above the clouds with the sun shining brightly, and flying smoothly at about 35,000 feet.
After breakfast we saw a movie during which I went to sleep, and was awakened by the stewardess informing me that they were ready to serve dinner.
About the time we finished dinner, we were beginning to descend for landing at Orly in Paris. We actually arrived on schedule despite our delayed departure from New York.
Dr. Armand Piwnica and his father met me at the airport, and drove me to their apartment where Armand's mother and Hugette were waiting. After greeting , and some conversation, Armand's father and mother went home, and we said goodnight and went to bed.
Sunday, October 22, 1961
I arose at 7:30 a. m. and had breakfast in my room before going to Gare de Lyon to take the train, which left as scheduled, at 9:15 a.m. to Lyon. It was a comfortable and pleasant ride. The weather was slightly cool, but comfortable with the sun shining. The combination of the many valleys, the rolling hills and the Somme make the country side quite beautiful. There are farms, both large and small, to add interest to the scenery.
I arrived in Lyon, as scheduled, at 1:50 p.m. Prof. Wertheimer was kind enough to meet me and drive me to the Hotel Grand Nouvelle. Later in the afternoon Professor Wertheimer and his wife showed me the sights around Lyon and its suburbs. They pointed out many of the historic sites of this old city, such as the old Roman Amphitheater, the old Roman Church, Saint Martin-d' Ainay, the House of Ampere and many others. Following this we had tea in their apartment and met Prof. Arnulf and his wife for dinner at a very nice restaurant. Finally to bed.
Monday, October 23, 1961
I was up at 6:30 a. m. and had breakfast in my room at seven. A little later Docteur Sisteron met me and we went to the Edward Herriot Hospital for ward rounds. We saw a number of patients with vascular disease. I agreed to operate on several.
1) A man about 50 with intermittent claudication and with bilateral segmental occlusive lesions of the iliac and femoral arteries.
2) A boy, 5 years of age with bilateral occlusion of the femoral arteries resulting from ligation following exchange transfusion. He now has marked shortening of the right leg.
I also saw one of my former patients, Mr. Reibaldi, who had a traumatic A-V fistula between the vena cava and the right common iliac artery. He was operated upon in Houston on July 1, 1961 and is now perfectly normal. It was most gratifying to see him.
We then went to luncheon at the Faculty of the University. Following this at 3 p.m. we put on our robes, which were very beautiful, and the ceremonies began with a speech by the Rector. Prof. Wertheimer presented me to receive the Honoris Causa and this was given to me by the Rector. I gave my response in French. It was a very impressive ceremony.
At about 5 p.m. we went to a reception and then to a dinner party given in my honor by Prof. and Mrs. Wertheimer at a private club.
Tuesday, October 24, 1961
Docteur Sisteron met me at the hotel at 7:45 a.m. and we went to the Edward Herriot Hospital to perform an operation on a white male about 50 years old, as follows:
The operation was successful and pedal pulses were restored.
I went to lunch with Prof. Wertheimer, and Docteur Sisteron, and Docteur Descotes. In the afternoon at 5 p.m., I went to the Faculty of Medicine to give a lecture on Clinical Patterns of Atherosclerotic occlusive disease. It seemed to be well received. About 350 were in the audience. Most of these were local physicians and students. There were a number of Congolese and other Africans among the students.
In the evening at about 8 p. m. I went with Prof. and Mrs. Wertheimer to the dinner held by the Friends of the University of Lyon, a private organization which raises money to support the University. There were two interesting but rather long lectures given after the dinner on Greek culture.
Wednesday, October 25, 1961
I was up early and had breakfast in my room. At 7:45 a. m. I met Docteur Sisteron and went directly to the Edward Herriot Hospital to operate. The first case was a child about four or five years of age who had an occlusion of both femoral arteries following ligation for an exchange transfusion, somewhat as follows:
There was also shortening of the right leg. The operation consisted of a by-pass from right common iliac to popliteal artery.
The second case was a man about 65 years of age with an occlusion of the left superficial femoral artery as follows.
Operation was a by-pass of dacron with endarterectomy.
Good pedal pulses were restored in both cases.
About 2 p. m. I went with Docteur Sisteron to his home to have lunch with his wife and some young members of the surgical group. Among these was Doctor Marion.
After lunch we went to pay our respects to Professor Santy and to see his hospital. This is where Doctor Marion works. I saw his pump oxygenator, which has a pump similar to ours except that the tubing is slightly angled instead of round, as follows:
They believe this is better in producing complete occlusion.
After I had gone to the hotel to pack, Prof. Sisterone took me to the train. We left on schedule at 7:25 p.m. and arrived in Paris at 11:33 p.m. as scheduled. Doctor Piwnica met me at the station and drove me to his home. We retired immediately after making plans to leave early in the morning to go to the airport because of the transportation strike in Paris. The traffic was expected to be very heavy.
Thursday, October 26, 1961
We were up very early. I had breakfast in my room and at 7:45 a.m. Doctor and Mrs. Piwnica drove me to the airport. The traffic was very heavy as predicted. It took over an hour and a half to get to the airport, but we were easily there on time and I departed on schedule on British Eastern Airlines Flight #339 to London. It took exactly one hour to arrive in London and another hour to go through customs, so that I left London at 12 noon on British Eastern Airlines flight number 9128 and arrived in Edinburgh at 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Walker met me at the airport. He is one of the young surgeons on the staff of Mr. Douglas. We drove about Edinburgh a bit and stopped to see the famous old Royal College of Surgeons where exams were taking place. When we arrived in Dundee we drove directly to the hospital where Mr. Douglas and his staff were waiting. I saw several patients, two of whom we selected for operation tomorrow.
For dinner, I drove with Mr. Douglas to his home. Mrs. Douglas is a charming woman. They have two young boys, one about 12 and the other about 10. There are also two girls, one about 7 and the other was away at school so I did not meet her.
Friday, October 27, 1961
I was up at 6 a.m. and had breakfast at 7:30 a. m. Mr. Douglas and I went directly to the hospital after breakfast and made rounds. Following this we went to the operating room.
The first case was a white male about 65 years of age with a large aneurysm of the abdominal aorta as follows:
The operation went smoothly.
We were finished in one hour and twenty minutes.
The second case was a white female about 46 years old, upon whom Mr. Douglas had operated about a year and a half ago. He had attempted an endarterectomy, but this proved unsuccessful and the patient was now somewhat worse. The operation went as follows:
Pulses in feet were restored.
I had lunch at the University Club and in the afternoon I gave my lecture on Surgery of the Aorta and It's Major Branches. Following this we went to Mr. Douglas' home for a cocktail party and dinner. Then to bed.
Saturday, October 28, 1961
I was up at 6:30 a.m. and packed my bags, as I would not be returning to the house. I dressed for hunting after Mr. Douglas was kind enough to loan me a pair of boots.
After breakfast, we left and went by the hospital to see the patients. Both were excellent with bounding pedal pulses.
We drove into the country from the hospital and met the others (about 9 men). There were mostly physicians and friends of Mr. Douglas'. It was about 9:30 a.m. when we gathered around the Lake (loch) where our duck hunting was done. We were placed at intervals around one side of the lake. The guide, and some "beaters," circled around the other side. At a signal they began making enough noise to flush the ducks toward the hunters. They came flying over us and we fired, altogether killing 9 ducks. All were mallards, and there were five with greenheads.
After the duck hunting was ended we drove to some nearby farm fields to hunt partridge. This was done by having some of the hunters take their places at intervals and "stand" while others went to the other side of the field and walked toward those standing to flush the birds towards them. Unfortunately there were few birds and the hunting was rather poor. I got one partridge among four killed.
By this time we .were all quite ready for lunch, which was brought out to us by some of the wives.
In the afternoon we went to the Moncrieff estate which has been in the same family since the 11th century. Here we hunted pheasant. This was done in much the same way as we hunted partridges with some hunters standing and others walking towards them along with a few "beaters". (the wives and a few of the children acted as "beaters") We killed about fifteen pheasants.
About 5:30 p. m. after the hunting was ended we drove to a small hotel nearby and I changed clothes and then we went to Perth, where I said goodbye to the Douglases and boarded the train for Glasgow. I left about 6:36 p.m. and arrived in Glasgow at 8:15 p.m. I went to the Central Hotel and after a light meal I was glad to get to bed.
Sunday, October 29, 1961
I was up at about 6:30 and leisurely dressed and had breakfast in my room. After checking out of the hotel I taxied to the air terminus and checked in for my flight.
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples