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The Henry Swan Papers

Letter from Dwight E. Harken to Henry Swan pdf (83,625 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Dwight E. Harken to Henry Swan
Number of Image Pages:
1 (83,625 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
May 1982
Harken, Dwight E.
Harvard Medical School
Swan, Henry
Reproduced with permission of Alden H. Harken.
Exhibit Category:
Learning from the Lungfish: Studies of Hiberation, 1963-1988
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 11
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1936-1995
Folder: First Annual Henry Swan II Visiting Professorship in Surgery [photographs], 1982
Henry Swan, we salute you at this first of many Commemorative Lectures before they become Memorial Lectures! We, your friends along with the world will ever note and long remember you as the exemplary triple threat, brilliant surgeon, inspiring teacher and sound investigator.
You have always been a living paradox. You, whose animation could never be suppressed have a compelling interest in suppressing animation. You alternately delighted and devastated us by such contrasts as raucous even ribald humor and terrifying tragedy. You and I shared the dubious distinction of alternating our annual plane crashes, timed to coincide for maximum drama, with the annual meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. I abandoned the sequence with my traumatic and flaming crash of 1957. You both preceded and succeeded me. This only established our physical stamina as better than our judgment.
Your living paradoxes took you to technically triumphant firsts replacing aneurysms and peripheral vessels with homografts. Again paradoxically, while augmenting the circulation with grafts you were reducing the circulatory need by hypothermic circulatory arrest. Complex anomalies inevitably demanded more open heart working time than was permitted by hypothermia and even your brilliant technique. You then entered the vineyards identifying and synthesizing anti-metabolic hormones.
Press on Henry. You may eventually have personal need for those very anti-metabolic hormones to control your own still laudable hypermetabolic state! Some of us who envy you the dynamic, handsome fine figure of a man dated only by the bow tie, search for your extraordinary energy sources. Could it be the hypobaric Denver climate with consequent elevated hemoglobin? When you associate with us at sea-level do you have the advantage of being the only racing car with higher octane fuel?
Carry on Henry, the world is better for your being. Continue to give your sound investigation and fine technique all the stronger teaching impact because:
"You use refined flamboyant frames to feature firm fabrics of fact".
Dwight Emary Harken, M.D.
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