In his book ‘Walk on Walter’, Michael Ruhlman clearly indicates how willingness and skills can save millions of lives. The author concentrates on Doctor Mee Roger whom he regards as a strong man who can confidently walk on water. Doctor Roger is one of his greatest friends in the medical field in Cleveland Clinic. This is a life-saving health care which focuses on children’s hearts. Ruhlman is allowed to enter the surgery room and observe surgeons performing heart surgeries on babies (Heart Beat Children’s Society of Calgary, 2008). He is curious to know how the activity is carried out to allow newborns survive. There is one anecdote from ‘Walk on Walter’ which appears to be the most interesting part of the entire book. This anecdote emphasizes on the themes, spirit, and power for the readers. This is none other than in the first chapter which introduces the reader to the world of pediatric heart operation. In this first chapter, the reader is attracted to the incident described from page four to page six.
This anecdote portrays medical experts in this clinic as cooperative. They are handling a young boy, Connor Kasnik, who is newly born. Makoto Ando, generally referred to as Mac, is the chief surgeon in this department. He moves on with the dissection of the patient’s heart while Fackelmann, the physician assistant, observes him with keenness. They work together with determination to free the baby’s heart muscles from each other. Baby Connor has an abnormal heart which lacks a thick cardiac vessel and pulmonary artery which usually protrude from the right ventricle. On the contrary, Connor’s heart has both arteries parallel to each other. His slightly wider artery rises from the right ventricle while the smaller pulmonary artery emerges from the left. This heart defect is known as transposition of arteries. In page four, the author illustrates how the defect will be corrected to make the baby survive. It also teaches the reader how the defects are corrected. This anecdote is important to the reader as it analyzes all the incidents in the entire book. You cannot follow the book with no idea of what is happening. It shows light to the theme of suffering. Babies born with heart disorders go through great suffering and pain as the physicians try to make them survive. Their parents suffer financially and emotionally from the time the baby is diagnosed with the defection (Ruhlman, 2004).
The reader is exposed to different roles of medical experts performing heart surgery in page five. This anecdote is a must-read for the reader to understand what each and every specialist does. Similarly, all these experts must work hand in hanrd with each other to save lives. Every expert has his or her own field which cannot be operated by another person. The theme of cooperation is evident here. As Mac continues to operate the duct, Fackelmann tells Lori, the nurse on duty, to inform Doctor Roger that they will be ready within fifteen minutes time. As Mac continues with the duct, a mistake occurs. He makes a hole in the duck and blood oozes out dangerously. Fackelmann notices it first and signals Lori and Julie, who is an anesthesiologist to be attentive.
As a result of the hole in the duct, Connor starts losing excess blood. This makes Fackelmann request Lori to bring the suckers to remove the blood from the baby’s chest. He then tells him to call Doctor Rogers immediately. This shows how the experts work together. It creates great suspense as the reader is eager to know why Doctor Rogers is the most preferred surgeon. It seems that he is an expert, therefore, trusted by the other physicians. Julie has to act upon the oozing blood and the baby’s pressure. She gets pressers and clamps the baby’s vessel to control the pressure. Lori moves out to look for Rogers. Concurrently, Mac remains calm and does his best to reduce bleeding as he waits for Rogers to come in. Ethical behaviors and principles in medical field are exposed in this anecdote. All the professionals are working with a common determination of saving life. This introduces the reader to a world of life savers who can do everything possible for a human being to survive (Ruhlman, 2004).
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Fortunately, Lori finds Doctor Rogers in his office already dressed for the operation. Rogers is the main doctor who is expected to insert tubes in the heart bypass machine which will be used to save the baby’s life. He is to put Connor in the pump to help his heart continue beating. Amazingly, any new member who visits this room cannot note that life is in danger. All those who are inside are composed with no noticeable tension irrespective of the danger ahead. This reveals to the reader how careful professionals in this clinic are in performing their duty. They cannot show hopelessness even when survival chances are minimal. All their cells are stressed as they understand that a kid may die on their hands any time. However, they must remain calm. The reader develops tension and suspense wondering whether baby Connor will survive. The spirit of unity continues to prevail on page six.
Baby Connor becomes more vulnerable after every minute. Mac covers the duct holes with one of his fingers to reduce bleeding. There are two main problems with the baby’ case. First, they stopped giving him prostaglandin which helps to maintain the duct ajar. The duct is now disintegrating which might cause instant death. Secondly, the pressure required to stop bleeding is too much for that baby. It will cause more harm to the baby. Fackelmann is wondering why Doctor Rogers has taken that long. He believes doctor should be there by now to help. Julie keeps watching pressure and blood sugar which are falling drastically. The blood in the arteries is moving too slowly to maintain the baby’s tissue. The brain can survive for some fewer minutes, but the heart is totally endangered. His heart is still beating, but there is no enough oxygen to maintain this. Doctor Rogers has not yet arrived. In case the heart halts, the baby will be gone to the land of no return (Smethurst, 2010). The reader increases tension wondering whether the boy will survive. The unity of medical experts makes this anecdote so interesting and important to read. The reader clearly understands how the heart works. This prepares him for every other incident in the book.
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In conclusion, Michael Ruhlman has written his book ‘Walk on Walter’ in an intelligent way. This anecdote in chapter one, pages four to six, appears to be the most interesting part of the book. The reader is exposed to all themes in the book as well as the spirit of unity which prevails over the entire book. Additionally, the author pre-empties the roles of all medical experts who will appear in the entire book. This ensures that the reader will not hang at any particular time. The anecdote appears at the beginning of the book creating so much suspense. The reader has to read the book to understand why Doctor Rogers is respected in this clinic. Baby Connor’s life is in danger. The reader hopes the baby will be saved in the next minute of reading. Therefore, the anecdote is not only interesting, but also educative and significant.
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