David Adams: if everyone can take their seat, we are now going to have, Iím sure, what is going to be the highlight of this 2011 Mitral Conclave, which is Professor Carpentier delivering the honored Conclave lecture ďRevisiting the French Correction.Ē The youngest picture of Professor I could find.
I think everyone in this room would agree that there couldnít be 5 more remarkable careers in medicine or science than Professor Carpentier and all of us have been really enriched by his commitment, as well as his relationships will all of us in one way or another. This is a great picture of Professor Carpentier for several reasons. Here he is with his mentor, DeBose, no one gets up on this stage without great mentors and he had a great mentor and I can tell you the only reason Iím standing here is because he was my mentor. You see him with a great partner. The other thing about Carpentier is that heís got partners. Here he is with Al Star, lifelong friend. Itís appropriate that they won the Lasker Award together for heart valve replacement therapy; Star for the mechanical valve. The Lasker committee didnít think mitral valve repair was his greatest contribution; it was actually tissue bioprostheses and the concept of treating them so that we could use them every day in valve replacement and give patients a non-phromogenic alternative and that picture I think says a lot about Carpentier. You guys know that I had the great privilege with one of my partners, Farzan Filsoufi, to write his life time book ďCarpentierís Valve Reconstruction.Ē Alain and I were just out in the hall talking about it. It took over eight years to write and he looked at me and he said ďYou know, David, that was the greatest time of our life.Ē And I think thatís what that picture says about him. Thatís the kind of person he is.
Of course, you donít get that way without a partner. I love this picture, this great picture of Sophie. There was a great meeting a few years ago when we actually were having a little celebration about releasing the book and Sophie got up and told a story and I am going to tell it quickly to you where she said Alain has never changed all of the years that Iíve known him. And I can confirm this with, during this book writing ,where it would go for 12 and 14 hours at a time and he would look up twice and ask if we want a drink of water. I have never seen a guy work like this. At any rate, Sophie was telling a story and this was a year ago and she said just a few weeks ago Alain called me we were all supposed to go home at 7:00 at night. He said do you mind if you wait with Christiane, I am working on this research project down here with one of my fellows and Iím going to need about an hour. She said she sat down and she talked to Christiane and then the phone rang again it was 10:00. He said, you know, weíre almost done I just need a little bit more time do you mind waiting? No. She said about 1:30 am he finally came upstairs. He said Iím sorry, I lost track of time. She said the next day he sent Christiane and her both flowers but she said you didnít need to send flowers Alain , thatís the way youíve been your whole like and that is focused. He focuses on things and everything else is peripheral once he sets his laser vision on something and I can say thatís one of the reasons he has been so successful and one of the real things Iíve learned from him.
Hereís another great picture, of course everything we do in mitral education is an extension of Club Mitral. Here is the second one in 1987. You can see over in the corner a very young Randy Chitwood, Patrick Perrier among others. Alain was the master teacher and Randy showed those pictures this morning of him at the easel drawing pictures and for all of us that were privileged to be there and I would dare say a lot of this audience in our age group and older were there. Thatís where we all went to learn and that was his great passion and itís appropriate that he give this first Conclave lecture.
Iíll show you his latest home. This is the National Academy of Sciences in France. It had this little story about how in the 17th Century French Scientists used to circle around a single scholar or patron and the king that year later decided they should have an academy and call it the Academy of Sciences and promote the most important scientist of that time to make it sort of official who we should have lead us. And today this is actually his new home during the week. Professor Carepentier is only the 6th surgeon in 350 years to become the president of this society. I think it really says something about how the rest of the world feels about him, not just how we feel about him as cardiac surgeons.
Of course, this is my favorite picture because this is Professor Carpentierís greatest achievement. He went to Ho Chi Minh city where there was nothing. He funded and built the Heart Institute. He trained the heart team. Today, that heart team, 1,500-2,000 children a year have successful heart valve surgery and congenital heart surgery all because of that same vision I told you about. I think this picture is where he is really the most at home. So with that, it is my great privilege to introduce our honored lecturer, Professor Alain Carpentier.