The medical genius Ton That Tung in his student’s eyes

Posted at: TUEsday - 02/12/2014 11:06 - post name: Cộng tác viên

The medical genius Ton That Tung in his student’s eyes

May be when God gives birth to genius, god always gives them peculiar and strange habits? Their greatness is sometimes made from this anomaly? Prof. Ton That Tung is such a genius like that.

We've known Dr. Ton That Tung as an idol of medicine in Vietnam and the world; who has caused consternation among mankind by new inventions in the field of liver surgery at 27 years old; who was elected to the Paris Academy of Surgery, international award Lannelongue; and above all, he was honored by the people of Vietnam as a great physician. However, you only know Mr.Ton That Tung with all of his characteristics when you read through the book “Remembering the past” of Prof. Dang Hanh De.

In the eyes of the student Dang Hanh De, Prof. Ton That Tung is not only the erudite, passionate, loving people and ethnic self-esteem person but also as an "anomaly". We have known Einstein and Newton for their distractions; Beethoven with the sloppy and irritability; Dostoievski and Picasso who always outrageous sex ... And medical genius Ton That Tung is also not excluded.

Prof. Tung wore the wrong trouser of his wife...

ton that tung 2That was the situation in “Open heart surgery” story with cardiopulmonary machine. This was a time of war, the most difficult phase of the hospital. Besides enthusiastic professional passion of the true relationship between teacher and student, everything was needy. Lack of anesthetic, lack of blood transfused. There was no autoclave for sterilizing clothes, no electric saws; it only had hand saws and mortise chisel which were used to "cut" rib of patients. Most problematic was the loss of power. Sometimes surgery was incomplete, patients were at the most critical moment, suddenly darkened room.

Generators were always scarce gasoline, gasoline rarer than blood. Sometimes power lost, could not boil water for hot packs for patients, doctors had to "push patients into the pavement for sunshine"! Mr. Tung, Mr. De and their colleagues faced the worst conditions. Many experts from France surprised how could Vietnamese doctors save people in such conditions?

That day, there was a very heavy patient, Dr. Vi Thi Nguyet Ho (Prof. Ton That Tung’s wife) and Mr. De and colleagues had to stay up late for duty. Mr. Tung was in the house, waiting for his wife. He had a hunch that something was not right then went straight to the hospital during the night and held a stethoscope, checked immediately for the patient. Everyone stood around him. Suddenly, one student exclaimed: "Oh! Professor, you wore the wrong trouser of your wife ". People look down and laughed!

Great genius only said briefly: "I'm in a hurry"!

At that time, the man who wore the wrong trouser has performed the first open heart surgery with cardiopulmonary machine successfully in Vietnam. That was in 1965. Uncle Ho personally went to hospital to congratulate. Prof. John Gibbon - the first person who researched successful the cardiopulmonary machine in 1953 in Massachusetts Hospital also wrote a congratulatory letter in amazement and admiration.

  Prof. Tung was angry with students

ton that tung 3According to Prof. Dang Hanh De, Mr. Tung was a hot-tempered person. Especially during surgery, if students did wrong, he swore fiercely. He threw instruments everywhere, sometimes fell into the assistant, even his fiancé Ms. Nguyet Ho was also not an exception. His face blushed crimson, eyes stared ... At this time, his students were terrified. So, they were afraid to help him. Only Mr. De stood everything! Many times, he was angry with his closely student. It was the time Mr. De had to do two things: to meet patients and surgical assistance. Sometimes he came late; Prof. Tung threatened to expel him from the hospital!

However, only a few minutes later, Mr. Tung eased immediately. He became friendly, close to his student: "He mad at no one ... he also has not expelled anyone ever!" (Page.9). He dedicated to meticulous presentation for his students from sewing thread cutting, connecting to holding scissor operation. Therefore Mr. De has learned from him these basic skills, especially in critical situations when surgery.

Also the teacher, who always is angry, is a lovely mentor, supports and respects students. Thus, even with the fear his anger, but most students always respect and admire him. Even they were willing to sacrifice their lives to protect him. In 1972, B52 poured bomb in Hanoi, people evacuated everywhere. Everyone worried, asked him to evacuate. And his response, once again, has taught students a lesson on ethnic self-esteem: "You told me to desert? The country is in danger and I know what I have to do? All of you stay away. "

Prof. Tung cried

This was not an anomaly but it was a soft, normal life of the great doctor. In the eyes of the student Dang Hanh De, Prof. Tung did not just show up with the spotlight, but also the failures, the inevitable grief in his career.

It was the story of broken ductus arteriosus in 1970. The operation was performed for a male patient, with the ductus arteriosus. Prof. Tung was in charge of surgery and Mr. De was his assistant. During surgery, the tube suddenly broke. Blood flow everywhere, blood flooded the person's chest. Even used straws at maximum speed, but blood was still flowing, spattering the floor. Everyone was panic and the patient died immediately.

Perhaps there was nothing more painful in life as a doctor in that moment? Allow me to record this emotion: "Both teacher and student stood dumbfounded, staring at the chest ... He quietly walked out, undress clothes and surgical gloves, and went downstairs, I just stood next to the patient ... I quietly sewn the patient's chest, and went down stairs ... I startled when I first saw professor at the end of the first floor stairs as I went through ... I could not look him straight in the eye, inside, a sadness was immense surge "(Page 46).

Genius sometime has failure. Tears of the professor obsessed the student Dang Hanh De, especially when he faced moment of life and death.

Quietly together with his mentor for nearly 20 years, the humble, patient, self-esteem student has become a famous Professor which has worthy contributions medicine for Vietnam.

The book touched me by its true and simple. A medicine generation was intelligent, pride, passion and commitment. They took everything, not just the extreme of war, but also the inertia of a social subsidy period. There were such noble qualities; maybe, they were influenced by the personality of the teacher Ton That Tung - a great medical genius and anomalies?

Through the story of Prof. First Hanh Dang, I was thinking a lot about the personality of a group of intellectuals today. In my opinion, every doctor, every medical student, please take a moment to read this book to be able to question the conscience.

Translated by Nga Nguyen

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