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  • Description

    SCU Nurse's legs walking.
    4 ft

    GV Ceiling.
    12 ft

    SCU Nurse's legs walking.
    14 ft

    Nurse's face.
    16 ft

    GV Ceiling doors etc as patient is wheeled to operating theatre.
    22 ft

    SCU Mask coming down over patient's face.
    26 ft

    CU Dr Grondin being interviewed.
    47 ft

    SCU M. Lebecque - patient in hospital interviewed.
    94 ft

    CU Photo of Dr Grondin operating.
    109 ft

    CU Dr Grondin speaking.
    137 ft

    SCU Photos of patients.
    145 ft

    SCU Dr Grondin speaking.
    151 ft

    MV Lebecque in hospital.
    155 ft

    GV Exterior of hospital.
    158 ft

    MV Lebecque waving from window of hospital.
    164 ft

    TRANSCRIPT: "The patient's name - Gerald Lebecque, age 53, diagnosis, chronic heart failure, the outlook - hopeless. Patient number 2, Jean Marc, aged 23, car accident victim, massive brain damage, he's dying.

    And so two solitudes have touched, come together in Montreal's heart institute. The thing they have in common, this young scholar and this invalid from New Brunswick, is body chemistry. Tissue typing and blood groups of both men match. Now it's up to cardio-vascular surgeon Pierre Grondin to transplant the heart from M. Marc to M. Lebecque.

    Dr Grondin is a pragmatist, he does the expedient thing quickly, deftly; and so M. Marc fights against the dying of the light, but then, oblivion.

    Interviewer: "Have you ever been denied permission by a donor's next of kin to use a heart?"

    Grondin: "Never. We have requested 15 times the heart of a patient who has been having brain damage, and all 15 times the family have said yes."

    Interviewer: "Suppose you did have this situation where the family said no, but the tissue typing matched up, the blood grouping and so on, it was an ideal match; do you think that in this situation the state should be empowered to step in and take the heart?"

    Grondin: I say no no no. I don't think that. I think it's infringing too much on the liberty of people".

    Interviewer: "Dr Grondin is battling great odds. He transplanted 9 patients in 1968, only 3 are alive today. One of them, transplanted in late November in M Lebecque."

    Interviewer: "this is the last picture of you over here isn't it, on your bedside table?"

    Lebecque: "Yes I think that's the last one yes."

    Interviewer: "Do you intend to keep it by your side?"

    Lebecque: "Oh yes."

    Interviewer: "Did she give you this?"

    Lebecque: "Yes".

    Interviewer: "Could you perhaps show us the scar?

    That's very neat isn't it. Any pain after the operation?"

    Lebecque: "Not much."

    Interviewer: "And what was your first sensation when you came round afterwards - what were your first thoughts?"

    Lebecque: "I pulled through - I'm all right".

    Interviewer: "You told me a few minutes ago you thought it was a miracle. Do you still feel this way?".

    Lebecque: "Yes, yes, yes. I just said to myself- I pulled through, I'm all right"

    Interviewer: "Are you a very religious man M. Lebecque?".

    Lebecque: "Come si comme sa."

    Interviewer : "Are you any more so perhaps as a result of this experience?"

    Lebecque: "Yes".

    Interviewer: "M. Grondin's philosophy of transplantations matches exactly the proposition he puts to his dying heart patients.

    He says "Look, you're dying. You have 6 days, 6 weeks, perhaps 6 months. a new heart may give you overtime, it may not, but Philip Blaiburg has lived one year".

    Interviewer: "They never say no says Dr. Grondin. Drowning men always clutch at straws, but some go under before hearts become available.

    Are you optimistic that the rejection phenomena can be overcome say within the next year or two".

    Grondin: "Oh I think so, I think so. I am optimistic, but like in any field you make progress the hard way in many instances."

    Interviewer: "I've heard a lot of people talk about saving these people as perhaps disturbing the ecological balance, keeping the old and the infirm and the sick alive."

    Grondin: "I don't think so. This is probably true in zoology of in nature and sciences, but it has nothing to do with humans. There have not been that many transplants, and the patients that have been transplanted have been rather young. We have 3 well into their fifties, and the rest were in their forties."

    Interviewer: "Dr Grondin says he walks a narrow path between infection. Too much of the imunal repressant drugs, the greater the chance that infection will set in; too little and the host body rejects the heart.

    Either way it's death.

    Grondin: "People with a good match reject as well as people with a bad match, and we really don't know exactly where we stand."

    Interviewer: "And how many more years would you like to live?"

    Lebecque: "Another fifty".

    Interviewer: "For Dr Grondin, Lawrence Durrell, the English poet and novelist has made the definitive statement on transplantation. He said that life is so short and precarious that ??? to extend it ??? worthwhile".



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

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