Read for your health: ‘Something The Lord Made’ |

Read for your health: ‘Something The Lord Made’

Yampa Valley Health
Courtesy Photo

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This is not a film about religion rather an inspirational, emotional, true story about Dr. Alfred Blalock, a famous white surgeon and Vivien Thomas, a high school graduate, talented, soft spoken, black carpenter, who aspires to become a medical doctor.

Set in the 1930s, during the depression, Blalock, professor of surgery at Vanderbilt, hires Thomas as his laboratory janitor. Thomas takes an interest in Blalock’s library, including books on anatomy. Noting his interest, the surgeon begins teaching and training Thomas to be his lab assistant.

In 1943, Blalock is offered chief of surgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. His research concerns infants born with a heart defect — Tetralogy of Fallot — creating a lack of oxygen, turning the baby blue. The condition is fatal.

The two men, from different walks of life, labor together for years. Their relationship reflecting the societal issues/mores of the era — Jim Crow South. Ultimately, it was the beginning of cardiac surgery. They saved thousands of lives through their pioneering work. A brilliant and heart-warming surprise ending awaits the viewer of this exceptional award-winning film.

Nancy Bretz is a volunteer at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Community Health Resource Center. To see the library’s collection of more than 1,600 books and videos on medical and scientific subjects visit Those interested in checking out an item may visit the Community Health Resource Center or call 970-870-1173.

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