Dorothy Eustice at age 18


Dorothy Eustice was born September 24, 1928 to Thomas Eustice and Ethel Haley. She was a twin sister to Donald D. Eustice, who served as Sheriff of Waseca County, Minnesota.

``IT OPENS the way for more such operations on the type of defect repaired,'' wrote The Minneapolis Tribune in late September 1952, after Lewis had disclosed his results at a scientific meeting. ``But even more significant and exciting, it seems to give surgeons a method — long sought — of putting the knife into the live human heart, in plain sight and unclogged.''

Having assisted Lewis, Walt Lillehei understood what an extraordinary accomplishment this was. If only Dorothy Eustice had hung on a little longer, they might have saved her.

Nevertheless, Lillehei did not believe that hypothermia was the key to all open-heart surgery — they'd glimpsed the grail, not captured it. Lillehei doubted that hypothermia could ever be extended long enough to afford the time needed to fix more complicated heart problems.

It would never allow a surgeon to repair a ventricular septal defect, for example, a defect that made little Jacqueline's atrial septal defect look trifling — never mind such complexities as an atrioventricular canal, the defect that Clarence Dennis had found inside Patty Anderson. Many believed that no matter how ingenious the technique or technology, no surgeon could ever fix one of those.