When the righteous die, even the Heavens cry.
— Yiddish expression
The death of Dr. Denton A. Cooley generated a wealth of gratitude from his patients and an outpouring of admiration from his colleagues around the world. One tribute, in particular, caught the attention of our staff—from a man in Mexico, born in 1958 with total anomalous venous return. When he was 14 months old, his defect was surgically corrected by Dr. Cooley at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.1 A review of Dr. Cooley's personal handwritten log of operations yielded the patient's name and the date of the procedure—“3-3-60” (Fig. 1). Amazingly, it was already the 13th such repair so early in Dr. Cooley's career.
Even considering Dr. Cooley's worldwide tributes, his informative autobiography,2 and his detailed obituary,3 no words can convey the scope of his contributions to humankind. Accordingly, we present here a list of his personal contributions to cardiovascular surgery (Table I)4 and a comprehensive summary of his surgical inventions and product innovations (Table II).4 Both compilations speak for themselves. All we need add is, “Thank you, Dr. Cooley. May you create your wonders in heaven.”