Close to the Sun: The Journey of a Pioneer Heart Surgeon
In a bewitching memoir, Rhodesia in southern Africa is linked with San Diego, California. The ideal climate in both places may have contributed to engendering the author’s ambitions, leading to his chosen medical career. Close to the Sun by Stuart Jamieson tells how his pioneering heart-lung transplant surgery over the past generations has saved the lives of thousands of patients.
Jamieson enjoyed a colonial childhood in the country known then as Southern Rhodesia. The son of an immigrant doctor, he attended a brutal, isolating boarding school where caning was accepted as customary, a blot on the idyllic surroundings. But this memory paled as terrorism dominated the battle for independence from Britain, a period that saw the country’s economy destroyed.
After medical training in Britain in 1978, he came to the States, to Stanford, entering the nascent field of transplant surgery and contributing to the development of Cyclosporin, a drug that countered new tissue rejection and led to transplant procedures becoming almost routine. After a series of interpersonal conflicts with colleagues, he came to San Diego, eventually opening the two-hundred-and-fifty million dollar Cardiovascular Center, and winning accolades for the Center’s increasing success on heart-lung and double-lung transplants.
The book is delightfully chatty, adding a dimension to the two geographic settings. Readers will delve into lyrical descriptions of his adventures and occasional misadventures in Africa’s big game regions, then encounter some of the world’s most advanced medical terminology written with such clarity that it presents no troublesome challenges.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||336 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|