Remembering Dr. Michael DeBakey

HOUSTON Dr. DeBakey is a true American hero and he's receiving a send-off worthy of his remarkable contributions to the world.

The arrival of the coffin containing the body of Dr. DeBakey was filled with ceremonial traditions normally reserved for that of a statesman.

"Mr. DeBakey was a wonderful man," said visitor Jackie Reyes. "I've read up on all the wonderful things he's done. He had a lifetime full of giving and we're going to miss him."

The public viewing of the world-renown surgeon is the first to be held in the rotunda of Houston's City Hall.

"He was an innovator. He is our American Hero," said Susan Christian with the City of Houston. "He is the epitome of heroes. He saved thousands of lives. He has advanced science. Many believe the Medical Center wouldn't be the Medical Center without him."

DeBakey's career spanned some 74 years, conducing around 60,000 operations.

"We always have followed him," said visitor Sandra Taylor. "We loved him."

"I don't think he will be missed as he will be remembered for all the work he's done, not only in the United States, but around the world," added nurse Veronica Coulson.

As a nurse, Coulson says it was an honor to be a part of his team.

"I just wanted to say my personal farewell to Dr. DeBakey for leaving this world a better place," she said.

For the families of those he operated on, his personality and charm are just as everlasting as his skills and talent.

Dr. DeBakey's body will lie in repose at City Hall until 7pm Tuesday. Starting at 3pm, his family will be on hand to greet those paying their final respects to the doctor.

You can enter from the end facing the reflecting pool and exit on Bagby.

Dr. DeBakey's funeral is tomorrow. A memorial service will be held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, beginning at 1pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in memory of Dr. Michael E. DeBakey to the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center Research Fund as follows:

The Methodist Hospital Foundation**
DeBakey Memorials
P.O. Box 4384
Houston , TX 77210-4384

**Noting DeBakey memorial in memo line of their check.

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