Witold's Blog

Disclaimer

A disclaimer, frequently found at the beginning of many works of fiction, always puzzled me. “Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental” That’s the fallacy propagated, I

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Why the Poles Fight, part 4

They were the largest group of the people participating in the Warsaw Uprising. And the only one not involved in decision to rise. Before war, Warsaw had population of 1,300,000, and the city was the seventh largest of Europe. In March 1945, after the Germans evacuated, only 310,000 were left. From the vibrant city the

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Why the Poles Fight, part 3

They were young, desperate, and had seen enough of German savagery. They wanted to be free and wanted to avenge unspeakable brutality of the invaders. They knew they could die, but also knew there are worse things than death. But the youths of Warsaw weren’t the only players in this crucial moment of the Polish

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Why the Poles Fight, part 2.

  Museum of Warsaw Uprising is a chilling evidence of the atrocity of dying Nazi experiment. Being beaten on both fronts, the Germans unloaded their rage on essentially defenseless population of the Polish capital. Their destruction of Warsaw was symbolic and reminds me of the epic razing of Carthage by the Romans after the Third

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Why the Poles Fight

“Why in the world did you fight the Germans in Warsaw Uprising?” A good friend of mine shook his head. There was more than a question in his demeanor. I sensed a tone of disapproval. “Were you out of your mind?” He was Hungarian and left his native country during 1956 upheaval. The Hungarians and

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About the Choice of a Surgeon

In my last three posts I wrote about the two gods in American surgery. Cooley and DeBakey. Two personalities who achieved the pinnacle, still being on the opposite ends of the surgical universe. One was a thinker, a planner, and had vision. The other one was, let’s-operate-and-see-what-happens man. The Brainiac hired the Doer and it

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DeBakey vs Cooley, The Strife of Gods on Olympus

Ostensibly, it was all about the first implantation of an artificial heart. Argentinian surgeon, Domingo Liotta, started to work on the project at the University of Córdoba. And he was not even the first one in the history of medicine. Liotta, after his initial studies were published, was asked by DeBakey to continue his work

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Michael DeBakey, the Surgeon who Saved His Own Life.

Putting together a puzzle of life, if you started with a piece of an enormous drive to excellence, add a piece of self-discipline, follow it with another piece of resilience, interpose these with a part of impeccable work habits, find a piece of attention to details and intolerance of error, border them with many pieces

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Denton A. Cooley, Bigger than Texas

Modify, simplify, apply Denton A. Cooley, motto of The Texas Heart Institute. A story had circulated about Denton Cooley, the famous Houston-based surgeon and innovator, an exceptionally gifted man. While testifying in court, Dr. Cooley was asked by the opposing attorney if he considered himself to be the best heart surgeon in the world. “Yes,

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How We Care. The Epilogue.

The family care doesn’t start at birth. And doesn’t finish at death. Arthur Kleinman, from memory, modified. At a certain age, each of us suddenly finds out we had ancestors. I got interested in my heritage when I realized that the name of the village where my father was born, is the same as our

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How We Care. My Mother.

“A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.” Nicole Helget, Stillwater When the Warsaw Uprising broke out, I was 6 months old. We lived in the center of the city, where the fighting was most brutal. One day the group of insurgents brought us two infants whose mothers were killed by the Germans.

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How We Care. My Father.

When a father helps his son, they both laugh. When a son helps his father, they both cry. Yiddish proverb. One of the most consequential decisions of my life was to bring my parents from Poland to the United States. While they were getting older, I realized my parents’ future looked grim in Poland. Communism

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