Farewell to Norman Shumway

Remembering the heart transplant pioneer
Norman Shumway, MD, PhD, was hailed as the father of heart transplantation. He pioneered the techniques that have enabled more than 60,000 patients in the United States to live longer because they received new hearts through transplant programs at more than 150 medical centers around the country.

This guestbook, which was open February through March, 2006, contains many moving tributes to Dr. Shumway. Direct commenting has been closed. However, if you would like to add an entry, please use the news contact form to submit your item. Be sure to copy the URL from this page and paste it into the form.

Colleagues of Norman Shumway


I recently had the opportunity to read the Shumway Memorial Guestbook. Many of the stories brought back momentous memories to me. I worked with Norman Shumway every work day for 10 years as his main pediatric anesthesiologist. Not only did I provide anesthesia for his patients, many of whom have provided memorable messages in the Guestbook, I also provided post-operative intensive care for them. I transported them to Stanford from as far away as Hong Kong and participated in the first remote donor heart removal.

For this reason, reading the messages of his patients, which were mine as well, provides a real thrill. He was a remarkable man, a truly great surgeon, non-effacing, brillant, generous and humerous. It was a great experience to work with him. He appreciated the work of others in providing care for his patients. He played an important role in my professional career, the most important being providing me with the opportunity to participate in the remarkable results of his surgery, leading to the great stories in this memorial guestbook. I remember him well.

Alvin Hackel MD, FAAP
Professor of Anesthesia and Pediatrics Emeritus
Stanford School of Medicine

Posted by: Alvin Hackel MD, FAAP , May 31, 2007 12:01 PM

I remember Norman Shumway as my ultimate hero in so many ways. I was the lucky medical student on my Internal Medicine Clerkship who got to work up Michael Kasperak when he was admitted to Stanford Hospital as a very sick man with very little hope. I vividly remember that overnight excitement when he was given his daring chance at a little more life. Later that year I rotated through Cardiovascular surgery. Never did I learn so much in so little time. Dr. Shumway's work ethic was exemplary -- 5:00 a.m. patient rounds and then four or five cases in the OR. He was an extraordinary teacher. One time I questioned why we were going to repair a coarct in a seemingly very healthy 16-year-old boy. I was given several references to read and then Dr. Shumway accompanied me to radiology to review the angios. And then we rediscussed the case. He spent at least an hour with me personally to make sure I "felt comfortable" with the plan.

Posted by: Lomeguy , February 2, 2007 5:16 PM

Dr. Shumway did a Mustard Procedure on me in 1968, I am now 40 years old. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here today!! THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A LIFE !!!

Posted by: Michael Zeigler , April 8, 2006 8:04 PM

As a former perfusionist, Dr. Shumway will always be in my heart, as will Raymond Stofer.
Both are very important people to me. Thank you both for the education.

Posted by: Bill Barber , March 16, 2006 7:02 PM

I met Dr. Shumway because I work with Vaughn Starnes. Over the past few years he would come to USC for visits. He would always have a great story and inspire all the fellows, attending and staff.

I was honored to have dinner with him three times. Each of these were special. He observed us in the OR and the whole place was aglow. He was a great man, humble for all he had done. The last time I saw him he was waiting to play golf with Dr. Starnes and he had a special grin on his face. I am so lucky to have known him.

Posted by: ROBERT SACHS PA-C , March 9, 2006 4:18 PM

It was my unique privilege to share the last name of an illustrious colleague. Although we were never introduced, we praticed surgery in the same state during almost identical years. His pioneering work in cardiac transplantation far outstripped my contribution to surgery as I followed his career. I heard Norman give a paper only once at a medical meeting and I am thankful for this one opportunity to identify this kind and great man.

Posted by: Ord L Shumway MD FACS , March 9, 2006 11:58 AM

Norm, we'll miss you so much! No place more than the golf course...the old songs, the very old jokes, the comments about Rogoway's backswing, the discussions about administrations at Stanford...

Norm was a valued guide for me through the swamps of medical politics when I arrived as Chair of Medicine in 1987. I relied upon him much, and accepted much of his advice about Cardiology and what should be done with that division.

In 1989 I nominated him for a prize in Cardiovascular Disease Excellence. The deal was: If he wins, I get his old golf clubs...well, he won. First prize was $25,000 - I got the old clubs.

When faced with dilemmas, I have often thought, "What would Norm do?" I will continue, forever, to do the same.

Posted by: Dr. Edward (Ted) Harris , March 9, 2006 11:04 AM

I started working at Stanford when I was only 16 years old and still in high school. I worked as an EKG tech. Dr. Shumway was always very nice to me when I was called to the ICU for a stat EKG or if I attended a cardiac arrest. He would always make sure I was ok by giving me nod and a smile.

I remember one night I was called to the ICU to take an EKG on a "John Doe" that might be a good candidate for a possible transplant. As I approached the bed, the patient was facing away from me. Within a minute, I was able to see the patient's face straight on. My heart went straight to my feet and I began calling out "Oh my God." The nurse immediately came to my aid. The "John Doe" was one of my classmates and a friend of mine. That was the first time in my life I had ever seen someone I knew in critical condition. I managed to obtain the EKG and take it to the nurse's station where Dr. Shumway was waiting. He could see how upset I was and offered me such nice words of comfort. As it turned out, my friend's heart was used in Stanford's second heart transplant. Dr. Shumway invited me to observe the surgery. Dr. Shumway even allowed me to stand at the head of the table! I remember the room was full of many physicians, but Dr. Shumway made sure that everyone who was in the room knew the head of the table was mine. As the surgery was coming to an end and my friend's heart was now beating in a new body, Dr. Shumway looked up at me and said "now your friend lives on!" Even thought the surgical mask was covering Dr. Shumway's face, I could tell by his eyes that he was smiling at me.

I only worked at Stanford 6 years, but will never forget how kind, caring and professional Dr. Shumway was. He truly was a gentle giant. Because of Dr. Shumway's gift of teaching and his way of making medicine interesting, I became a nurse and have taught many nurses along the way. I will never forget Dr. Shumway and all he stood for. He will be missed by all those that had the privilege of knowing him.

Posted by: Julia Benintendi, RN , March 6, 2006 8:04 PM

I remember Norman Shumway as my ultimate hero in so many ways. I was the lucky medical student on my Internal Medicine Clerkship who got to work up Michael Kasperak when he was admitted to Stanford Hospital as a very sick man with very little hope. I vividly remember that overnight excitement when he was given his daring chance at a little more life. Later that year I rotated through Cardiovascular surgery. Never did I learn so much in so little time. Dr. Shumway's work ethic was exemplary -- 5:00 a.m. patient rounds and then four or five cases in the OR. He was an extraordinary teacher. One time I questioned why we were going to repair a coarct in a seemingly very healthy 16-year-old boy. I was given several references to read and then Dr. Shumway accompanied me to radiology to review the angios. And then we rediscussed the case. He spent at least an hour with me personally to make sure I "felt comfortable" with the plan.

He was incredibly humble, never wanting to take much, if any, credit or praise for his remarkable accomplishments, at a time when others around the world and country were making headlines.

What an incredible sense of humor! He was the commencement speaker for my class (1970) and had everyone in stitches for a good half hour. Not to mention the levity that frequently got the team through a difficult time in the OR.

He was an extremely caring physician and person. When I was a pediatrician on the White Mountain Apache Reservation there was an infant with a very complex pentology of Fallot. The IHS deemed her to be inoperable. I phoned Dr. Shumway -- at his home -- and explained her case. He told me that if I could get the baby and her mother to Stanford that he and the team would take care of the rest, and he did.

On a more personal note, he cared about me after I had a near fatal accident almost twenty years ago. He personally wrote a letter to me -- handwritten -- and continued to write a Christmas card with a personal note every year through 2005. In that last note he said that I was his hero -- unbelievable.

I don't know when he found time to develop a great golf game, but he did. When he was going to be off to Spain lecturing in 2000 and I was on campus for a reunion he arranged for me to play with his usual golf buddies. With my near total paraplegia I would be on all fours after each swing and had a handicap of about 28, but his friends and I played my most memorable round ever on the Stanford course. He certainly went beyond the extraordinary to give me a memorable experience, just as he went beyond the extraordinary to contribute so much in cardiothoracic surgery.

Posted by: Bobbette K. Ranney, M.D. , March 5, 2006 4:22 PM

I am deeply saddened by Norman's death. Shortly after my appointment as co-director of Surgical Pathology at Stanford in 1968, I encountered Norman for the first time, in the hospital cafeteria having lunch with Jim Mark. On learning that I enjoyed playing golf, they invited me to join them in a round on the Stanford course, with Bill Rogoway as our fourth. Thus began a close association and friendship lasting 38 years, with regular, twice a week rounds of golf. I soon appreciated Norman's wonderful sense of humor and stream of hilarious jokes. One incident that involved the two of us and exemplified his quick wittedness, took place at a meeting of the hospital's medical board to discuss upgrading CPR training. I questioned whether it was necessary for pathologists to participate. Quick as a flash, Norman responded, "No! that's a conflict of interest!", which resulted in gales of laughter from committee members.

I and Ruben, my son-in-law, who played golf with us on occasion, benefitted from Norman's generosity, when he insisted on giving both of us new, up-to-date drivers to replace our older clubs. Now, my thoughts are often about Norman, whenever we drive off from the first and other tees.

In 1988 Norman operated on me to replace a faulty aortic heart valve. Some months later, when I was back playing golf, I out-drove him on one hole. He threatened to open me up and undo the valve!

Norman always spoke highly about those memebers of our pathology faculty who contributed to the cardiac surgery program. In particular, he praised Margaret Billingham, for her work with cardiac biopsies and her ability to detect evidence of rejection of transplanted hearts and of adriamycin toxicity. After Margaret's retirement he accepted and approved of Gerry Berry's work in this regard.

These are only a few of the many stories I could tell about Norman. Suffice it to say that he will be in my thoughts for many years to come.

Posted by: Ronald Dorfman , March 1, 2006 9:30 PM

I came to Pediatrics at Stanford as a brand new graduate nurse in late 1966 where, after three days of orientation (!), I was assigned to nights as the only RN on Peds. To say I was young, stupid and terrified gives me more credit than was due. A little after midnight, this smiling guy in rumpled scrubs strolled in and asked me who I was, what was going on and how the kids were. I rather tearfully replied that there were these four kids who had heart surgery and were on monitors that I had no idea how to work and was afraid something bad would happen and.... He smiled, escorted me to the room, gave me a 20-minute crash course in the basics with lots of laughs thrown in, walked out on the patio, brought in a lawn chair and stayed there with me until morning. I had no clue who he was, and I did not care because he clearly cared about those kids and about me.

That is the Norman Shumway I knew for the next several decades, mostly from afar. Kind, professional, caring, funny, dedicated and a real gentleman. His passing made me cry and laugh at the memories much like that first night.

Posted by: Cele Quaintance , February 28, 2006 1:42 PM

I am deeply saddened by Dr. Shumway's death. He performed open-heart surgery on my daughter in 1976, when she was just about to turn 4 years old. Without his skill she would not have survived another 6 months. She's 35 years old now and has made me the grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren. None of this would have been possible without the surgery that he performed on my daughter.

I made a call to him 10 years ago and, much to my surprise, he answered the phone. I told him then how much I appreciated what he had done. He was very humble and told me he was so pleased to hear that things had worked out so well.

The world will miss this great man and I am so thankful that, for a brief time, he was in our lives.

Posted by: Joanne Meagher , February 25, 2006 10:57 PM

When I came to Stanford in 1963 as chairman of the Department of Surgery, Norman Shumway was a member of the department faculty. Norm and his team had already made enormous strides in cardiac surgery and cardiovascular research. They continued to do so in the subsequent ten years in our department. We established the Section of Cardiovascular Surgery in 1965 with Norman as its head. The output from the division in both research and training of some of the world's best cardiac surgeons was unmatched nationally. When the University of California tried very hard to lure Norman Shumway away from Stanford all forces from the President of the university, the Provost, and Dean were mobilized. Stanford won that "Big Game" and the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was born. The continuing progress under Norm's leadership has been incredible. I shall miss him for his cooperative friendship filled with unique humor, generous distribution of credit for achievements, and scientific perseverance. Norman Shumway is not replaceable but his contributions live on and will continue to progress through his large number of trainees in Cardiac Surgery.

Posted by: Robert A. Chase , February 25, 2006 1:04 PM

I was incredibly fortunate to have started my career in cardiac anesthesia at Stanford in 1973 working with Norman Shumway and Edward Stinson, two of the world's best heart surgeons. Cardiac anesthesia was still in its infancy, and it was a rewarding time to be involved in cardiac anesthesia, in no small part because of Shumway and Stinson. Both have been an inspiration to me and many others.

Shumway was not only a pioneer in his field, he was also a humanitarian. He was very supportive of his team and treated everyone respectfully. He had a great sense of humor and a joke ready for any occasion. Knowing I was from Egypt, he discussed his fascination with ancient Egyptian history. He recounted a story about how he got on the wrong boat once when touring the Nile and found himself floating along with peasants and their goats. With wonderful humility, he said that it made him feel like Ramses II on a barge crossing the river. He once told his surgery team that he considered coughing in the operating room to be a voluntary act. I was a witness to the "first voluntary cough", in OR 13 from none other than Shumway. There was silence until I reminded him of his statement, and then he joined us in the burst of laughter that followed.

Not only was he good fun, but he was extremely kind and gracious. I wanted my sons to see him before I left Stanford. Always the gentleman, he took the time to meet them and gave them a model of a B52 bomber that he received from one of his transplant patients. Those of us who had the opportunity to know him are truly fortunate, and we will always cherish our memory of him.

Posted by: Amira M Safwat, M.D. Emeritus Professor, UC Davis , February 23, 2006 7:00 AM

In my first job on E2A I cared for Shumway's post-op cardiovascular surgery patients. I was struck by the way he set the expectation that the patient would, of course, do well. He touched a patient's foot and said, "you'll do fine". I try to set the same positive expectations with my patients today.

Posted by: Nancy Riffle , February 18, 2006 9:17 PM

I join in sorrow over the death of Dr. Norman E. Shumway, the father of cardiac transplantation. I also join in praise of this great surgeon who had developed cardiac transplantation for the patients in all over the world. I can hardly find words to tell how deeply I was shocked and grieved to hear of our great pioneer's death.
We are in great debt to him because of his enormous support in re-starting cardiac transplantation in Japan. We are all poorer for his loss.
We spent a couple of days in Awaji and Naruto, Japan, taking a boat together in 2000 and that was the last time we talked each other.

Posted by: Yasunaru Kawashima, M.D. , February 16, 2006 10:21 PM

On behalf of my late father Dr.Herbert N. Hultgren, and myself, I offer my deepest condolences for Dr. Norm Shumway. My father began at Stanford in the 1950s as the first Chief of Cardiology at Stanford, and was lucky to work with Norm in the early days.
When the first transplant was performed at Stanford, my father explained the entire procedure, and drew diagrams on a blackboard to our local Boy Scout troop.
My father made arrangements for me in 1968 to observe a heart transplant in Shumway's dog lab. That was a really exciting experience for me, and I was given a piece of the donor's aorta which had been trimmed to fit the recipient as a souvenir.
I was always impressed with Dr. Shumway's low key style, his detachment from the media, and his wicked sense of humor.
After graduating from college with a degree in Zoology, my first job was working in Dr. Shumways "calf lab", led by Dr. Phil Oyer, where they were developing a left ventricular assist device. A few years later I got a position in the dog lab where Shumway's residents were performing transplants on dogs, and later monkeys. I learned many surgical techniques from his staff including Vince Gaudiani, Stuart Jamison, Phil Oyer and Bruce Reitz. This was an especially exciting time because cyclosporin had just been discovered, and as Karen Hughes mentioned, we were running out of space to keep the recipients. Also, I was able to participate in the first series of heart and lung transplants in monkeys, and remember one of the early ones performed was on a Rhesus monkey we named Gustaf, who lived at least 10 years after its transplant.
After my experience working in Dr. Shumways labs I pursued a career in biotechnology research, including 15 years at Genentech, which I continue to this day. Surgical animal models has always been my forte, thanks to Dr. Shumway and his staff's inspiration.
My father and Dr. Shumway co-authored many scientific papers, and I am sure they are working on something new right now.

Posted by: Bruce Hultgren , February 16, 2006 11:18 AM

I count myself fortunate to have worked with Dr. Shumway. It was an honor and a privilege. He showed us all that the impossible was possible time and time again. What an experience to have been a part of Dr. Shumway's "firsts". He mentored, taught, teased and made everyone feel important. He had his care routines that we all came to know. Put the head of the bed up, hid the Fresh Frozen Plasma when he would round, touching the great toe and saying "he will be fine" , cutting the swan ganz catheter tip off during a case "who needs these things". It was a wild ride and one I will treasure . My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Posted by: Karen Rago , February 15, 2006 11:23 PM

Goodbye Dr. Shumway. You inspired hundreds of young physicians by you optimism and confidence in their future. There is always room at the top, you said. There was room, because you believed in our potential. We are sad because we doubt we will ever meet anyone like you again. We are thankful because you will always be with us in our memory.

Posted by: William Nolan MD , February 15, 2006 7:08 PM

I had the pleasure of providing anesthesia for Dr. Shumway's patients periodically, first back in 1981 as a (nervous) 1st-year resident, then through my residency and again from time to time as an attending anesthesiologist. Some of Dr. Shumway's last cases as a teaching attending were at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System where I was one of a handful of cardiac anesthesiologists. It was a privilege to work with such a pioneer of the science and art of cardiac surgery. It was also a privilege to work with so many cardiac surgery fellows who came to Stanford because of Dr. Shumway, and who now we see around the country and world as leaders in this field.

As is well-known, Norm Shumway was a humorous and feisty guy (in the OR as well as elsewhere), and was a celebrity not only of the medical world, but also of the local community. This was brought home one time when having dinner with another anesthesiologist, and our spouses, at a local fine dining establishment, when Norm walked in. We couldn't see his entry but the whole restaurant burst into spontaneous applause. He accepted the accolades with his usual "aw shucks" modesty, but he deserved them and no doubt appreciated them. I have never seen anything like this for any other physician!

I was also impressed over the last few years that he continued to be a regular on the Stanford Golf Course, even walking the course carrying his own bag and I'm sure beating the pants off of many other regulars (at least on a net basis).

Medicine and surgery will miss Dr. Shumway, and everyone will miss Norm Shumway the man. I consider it one of the highlights of my traning and practice in the Stanford community to have worked with him and seen all the good that he helped bring for so many patients and colleagues. This legacy will live on forever.

Posted by: David M. Gaba, M.D. , February 14, 2006 2:28 PM

I have had the privilege to work with N. Shumway as an anesthesiology resident at Stanford in 1967. This was the historic year of the first heart transplants, and I almost got involved, with Charles Witcher, as staff in Norman's second heart transplant case, which had to be cancelled at the last moment due to the unavailability of a donor heart. But at that time Norman was ready to achieve such breakthrough surgery, more than anybody else, because of his thorough laboratory reseach experience. Further, I will remember him as a most knowledgeable, personable individual with the highest medical ethics. The world's entire medical and patient community will miss him.

Posted by: Laszlo Gyermek MD,PhD. , February 14, 2006 12:25 PM

I was a pediatric house officer when Dr Shumway was already a great man. He inspired me to be humble when interacting with my patients and considerate when interacting with my colleagues. He used to walk around the medical center carrying a cup of coffee, something else I think I picked up from him. He will be missed.

Posted by: Gordon Klein , February 14, 2006 12:09 PM

I had the opportunity to work with Norm in several of my medical device companies, specifically Medtronic and St Jude. Because I worked so closely with his mentor, Dr. Walter Lillehei in Minneapolis, I wanted to have Norm's thoughts about the new heart valve we developed. I remember so well when I met with him in his unpretentious office, showing him a model of the St. Jude Valve and asking if he would like to work with us in the clinical trials. After describing and showing what we had, before he responded he ran, yes ran, down the hall and into operating rooms to show his fellow surgeons the model, with me trying to catch up with him. It is one of my fondest memories not only of an innovative thinker, but also of a great surgeon who always gave us entrepreneurs the time of day and his honest and constructive thoughts. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. While we have lost one of the greats, he leaves behind a legacy of huge benefit for humankind, and he will be missed.

Posted by: Peter Gombrich , February 13, 2006 11:00 AM

I worked in the Operating Room, then the CVS Research Lab in the late '70s and though I've had a great career, this was the pinnacle. The atmosphere for seeking answers and learning that Uncle Norm created, the excitement of Cyclosporin preventing rejection in the dogs and monkeys (we were running out of space because our subjects wouldn't die), and the quality of surgeons he lead, provided the most fun and inspiring season of my career. I remember him poking his head into the lab as we worked, with the familiar "How's it going?" and his annoyance should anyone sneeze in the OR. Good night, Uncle Norm, and thank you for my opportunities and your contribution to the world of medicine and surgery.

Posted by: Karin Hughes Selbach , February 13, 2006 10:58 AM

I knew 'Uncle Norm' in the CVICU in the 80's when I was a 'relief' nurse. He exemplified good manners and deep human kindness in all he did. What words are there to describe the sorrow I feel at this world loss... My sadness for Dr Shumway's family - he will be missed by all who knew him.

Posted by: Sandra Harriss , February 13, 2006 4:39 AM

Prior to joining Stanford, I had the pleasure of working with a former patient of Dr. Shumway. With a smile on her face, she once proudly showed me a scar running from the top of her back to her hip, a reminder of life saving surgery performed on her by Dr. Shumway when she was only a child. So, my admiration for Dr. Shumway preceded my employment within his lab. He always brought good cheer and, sometimes, good jokes to the lab. He will be sorely missed by all who loved him.

Jackie Durant, former CT Surgery employee

Posted by: Jacqueline L. Durant , February 12, 2006 8:46 PM

I was one of the fortunate surgeons who trained under Dr. Shumway and had first-hand experience with him as a mentor, teacher, guide and father-like figure. He has had a profound influence in my life, not only by accepting me as a trainee and becoming a cardiac surgeon under him, but also by his view of life and being an inspiring example. The best we can hope, speaking for those who worked under him and with him, is that we can be worthy carriers of his legacy. Extraordinary individuals like Dr. Shumway have an influence in the world that is impossible to quantify. I could compare it to a pebble thrown into a peaceful lake producing a ripple effect that expands infinitely. His legacy will continue touching thousands of lives for years to come.

Posted by: Carlos E Moreno-Cabral MD , February 12, 2006 7:54 PM

Where do I begin? I began working in the operating room in 1980 as a new nurse to the Stanford OR training program. I finished my career at Stanford in 1995. Some of the best years of my life were working in Room 13 with Dr Shumway. He was not intimidating. He was so funny and so kind. He taught everyone he worked with, everything he knew. My career as an OR nurse has been enriched by Dr Shumway. His quick wit would just make your day. I am honored to have spent many working hours with Dr Shumway and I treasure all he has taught me. I have missed him since I moved from the Bay Area and I will miss not seeing him again. My prayers and thought go out to his family and all who worked with him over the years, especially his boys still operating at Stanford. He was always so proud of all of you.

Posted by: Terri Holmquist , February 12, 2006 3:13 PM

I was a young RN from St. Francis, LaCrosse Wisconsin in 1962. Dr. Shumway looked at my nursing pin and asked if I knew the Gundersen boys. He said he went to U of MN with them and they were working at the Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, WI. The hospital is now a large medical center and named after the Gundersen's.
I told him how we walked by a little blue baby boy on our way to grade school. The child had to squat to breathe and would watch us walking by. Dr. Shumway said he wanted to improve life for blue babies. Dr. Shumway was kind and enjoyed talking with nurses and patients. I have thought about that small conversation over the past 44 yrs. It was a pleasure to have known him.

Posted by: rita boland nutile , February 11, 2006 9:18 PM

I am saddened to learn of passing away of Dr. Shumway. I had the pleasure of taking early clinical experience class and learning about your pioneering work. My condolences and good wishes for the future go out to your family, colleagues, students, and trainees. My sincere wish is that your vision continues to guide Stanford CTS community.

My prayers for peace are with you.



Posted by: Dr. Anupam Goyal , February 11, 2006 4:44 PM

Dr. Norman Shumway as an enigma. He relentlessly pursued and strived for excellence in the hope of perfecting the art and science of heart transplantation and anti-rejection therapy.

He was a friend, father, surgeon, and mentor. Here's to you Dr. S.

Posted by: Isaac von Bulow, Ph.D. , February 11, 2006 12:48 PM

I have been Stanford as a postdoctoral research fellow from 2000 to 2002. At the time, Dr. Shumway was really a legend in his own tme, but he friendly talked to us about the progress of some experiments. Indeed, Dr. Shumway was the mentor for cardiac surgeons in all over the world. He will be greatly missed.
Seiichiro Murata, MD, Saitama, Japan

Posted by: Seiichiro Murata, MD , February 11, 2006 7:33 AM

When I was a teenager in the 1970's deciding what to do with my career, I read a journal that featured Dr. Shumway on the cover about his pioneering work at Stanford. (I still have the journal today) A few years later, I became a nurse at Stanford Hospital (1980-87). I spent a few years on a cancer ward paying dues and working my way up just for the chance to work Dr. Shumway's intensive care unit. He and the people who surrounded him gave me a solid grounding in my career. I loved the way that Norm would just pinch someone's toes to check their circulation; he would know if they were okay or not. He was so comfortable with himself in his hush puppies. His inner calm put me at ease in a sea of nervous residents and tough ICU nurses.

My deepest sympathy is extended to his family and close friends who are grieving his loss right now. I am also sorrowful because I assumed he would live forever.

Indeed, Dr. Shumway is a legacy. He has touched so many of us all around the world. And that will never die.

Posted by: Annette Bongiovanni , February 10, 2006 5:36 PM

I have always been deeply indebted to Dr. Shumway for "taking a chance on me." I became his first female Cardiacsurgery Resident and later he hired me to take charge of the Palo Alto VA program when Dr. Bill Angel left for private practice. NES was always a patient mentor, highly encouraging to me and a wonderful friend. His sense of humor, manner and methods and dedication to cardiac surgery has deeply influenced each of us who had the great privilege of working with and for him. He is already greatly missed. I send condolences to his family and friends at Stanford.

Posted by: Grace Blair M.D. , February 10, 2006 5:15 PM

I knew and worked with Norm Shumway from the time that I first came to Stanford University Hospital as Director of Community & Patient Relations. Norm was a solid support for our new department's efforts as we set up programs in patient representation, The Health Library, and community outreach projects. His humor enlivened the Medical Board meetings as well as my encounters with him in the hallway. His care of his patients was exceptional. He will be much missed. Jeanne Kennedy

Posted by: Jeanne D. Kennedy , February 10, 2006 5:10 PM

On behalf of all of us at the California Transplant Donor Network, I want to offer our sincere condolences to Dr. Shumway's family, friends, and colleagues. It was an honor and privilege to work with him and to know him. Every two or three years, I would ask Dr. Shumway to come to a staff meeting to talk about the history of heart transplantation. Our staff was always surprised that he would take the time to meet with us, and they were even more amazed by his humility in the face of such huge accomplishments. I remember the last time he met with us, one of our coordinators asked him for his autograph. We all thought it was funny and endearing. I think we all wish now that we had done the same. His death is a huge loss for all of us. Phyllis

Posted by: Phyllis Weber , February 10, 2006 12:13 PM


Friends of Norman Shumway


Today is my 42nd birthday. Because of Dr. Shumway I am here today celebrating it. If my parents had not been living in Palo Alto, CA and had the good fortune of meeting Dr. Shumway, I would not have been born on May 2, 1964, and would not be alive today writing this. I owe all I have to him. His kind, generous and humble nature along with his innovative thinking made him a truly unique individual and I was honored and thrilled to have had the pleasure of meeting him "again" nine years ago as an adult when I had a consultation appointment with him. He will always be in my heart and a part of my life.

Posted by: Melinda Schissel , May 10, 2006 4:37 PM

I met Norm through the Stanford Golf Club. We played together in several Sunday mixers and exchanged invitationals with a couple at Los Altos CC. He was a delightful golfing companion--had a great perspective on the game and didn't take it too seriously. I'll miss his smile and sense of humor especially. When I think of his career it occurs to me that there are those who are risk takers and those who want a sure thing. Norm was one of those rare people who could take a risk and turn it into a sure thing.

Jean Rice
(he called me Kiddo)

Posted by: jean rice , March 12, 2006 12:50 PM

My association with Dr. Shumway was through his daughter, Sarah Shumway, who was an undergraduate at Stanford while I was a law student there. Our times together were memorable and fun. (When I had to go to Stanford Hospital during those years, it was suggested that I be volunteered as a donor while I was asleep.) Many thoughts and prayers for the family!

Posted by: Bill Lawson , February 24, 2006 2:31 PM

I only worked in the Department of Cardiothoracic surgery for a short time and getting to know him was easy. He would say hi all the time and, even though I did not know him personally, I felt that his presence in the office was that of a person with an overwhelming heart who cared very much about what he has instilled in all who have come after him. I would see him with one of the cardiothoracic MDs in the office as if they were remembering things as young boys. That is the feeling that I would get from his relationship with Dr. Mark; they were always together laughing and talking. Dr. Shumway will be missed.

Posted by: Patrisha Cherry , February 21, 2006 8:34 AM

I am hearbroken that I will never see that shock of white hair and that smiling face walking the halls of Stanford. I worked in General Surgery with Dr. Oberhelman for 30 years and Dr. Shumway would come downstairs when we were in the "Bowel
of the Hospital" (S067). I knew they were talking about golf scores and not about patients(SMILE). Dr. Shumway would come out of Dr. O's Office beaming: I guess "He won". I heard a wonderful saying and I think it fits perfectly. Though he's gone physically he's "In Our Hearts Forever" AND THAT HE IS......

Posted by: Joy Hoxter , February 16, 2006 4:48 PM

I had a very sick heart in March 1979 and thought I only had about a week to live. I was concerned that my wife would have to carry on raising our 5 children ages to 8 to 14, then the call from Stanford finally came for my first heart transplant. I recall seeing my 12-year-old daughter reacting �yeah!� as if her team just scored a touchdown. Nearly 26 years later the heart turned out to be not so perfect after all resulting in another transplant in January last year.

Thanks Dr. Shumway for pioneering this procedure. Otherwise, my family�'s fate would have turned a different unknown path without the bonus almost 27 years of my life.
I treasure the times when we occasionally said hello to each other during my clinic visits and at reunions and Christmas parties. My family will always remember you as our hero.

Posted by: Dan Oncena , February 13, 2006 10:46 AM

I had the privilege of producing the video tribute to Dr. Shumway in 1993 which is posted on this website. I spent hours in interviewing sessions with him and dozens of former colleagues and students around the country. Each person praised Norm in his own way for his groundbreaking scientific and clinical work, his talent for teaching and for his unique sense of humor and personality. The project for me was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my career. I will miss Dr. Shumway greatly.

Mary Lou Allen

Posted by: Mary Lou Allen , February 13, 2006 9:02 AM

I was fortunate to know Dr. Shumway for almost 40 years and had the privilege of working FOR him for 20 of those years he would say I worked WITH him and would refer to me as his colleague whoa!!! That was the type of person he was. What incredibly fabulous memories I will take to MY grave. Dr. Shumway had that rare talent of making you feel so special and important to the program. There were no airs about him what you saw was what you got. For one so brilliant and accomplished he was extraordinarily humble. He treated everyone as his equal he attended our department janitors graduation ceremony just because he was invited He was such a people person and oh what an outrageous and sometimes non-repeatable sense of humor and wit.. He could spout totally spontaneous and appropriate jokes and lyrics at the drop of a hat.

I will never ever forget my very special friend and I am better off for having known him. Today I will be brave by not mourning him, but celebrating his incredible life which is the way I know he would want it. I will miss him forever.

Adena Goodart

Posted by: adena goodart , February 11, 2006 6:22 PM

I already miss Dr. Shumway or as a couple of us called him-"Shummie" I worked with him in CT Surgery for 6 years. Every day he serenaded me with a song and always called me Miss America (which noone had ever called me except for my Grampa who had passed away). He taught me the art of a good comeback and we always made sure there was loud laughter in the Falk Bldng. He will always be in my heart and Shummie~"my light is always on for you~remember it is the red light"

Posted by: Karen Kellner , February 10, 2006 7:35 PM

Dr. Shumway hired me as a laboratory assistant when I was a very young high school student, in 1963-64. I found his laboratory when I was exploring Stanford research laboratories after school on my bicycle. I found open doors off a long corridor & stood there looking in at a circle of surgeons doing surgery, an experimental heart transplant. 20 min or so later one of them (Dr. Shumway) turns, looks at me & says, "Hey kid, close the door with you on one side of it." So I walked in & closed the door. They let me watch, then help clean up, then prepare the instruments for autoclaving & then run the heart-lung machine, do anaesthesia & do the surgical procedures -vasucular anastomoses- in the dogs. My surgery was as successful as theirs. This was an amazing experience for a young high school student to have. Dr. Shumway's operating room humor was a truly formative experience & one I hope other youngsters have the opportunity of being with such a master.

He help inspire a life of excitement & exploration in medicine & science while showing others what is possible through intellectual learning & exciting discovery.

I work in a surgery-related field, Structural Integration (invented by Dr. Ida P. Rolf), where the non-invasive manipulators do not need anaesthetic & astounding transformations in scar tissues & the relationship & alignment among body segments
are readily attainable through simple manual manipulations. I would have not recognized this work as significant if I had not had Dr. Shumway's friendship and support as a high school student.

Norman, I finally found out how to clean up surgeon's tracks! I dearly wish I had been able to tell you this in person.

Richard Wheeler
10 Feb, 2006

Posted by: Richard Wheeler , February 10, 2006 7:07 PM

He is a hero to many, in and out of the field of cardiothoracic surgery. His spirit and legend will live on. jb shinn, m.d.

Posted by: john shinn , February 10, 2006 2:13 PM

I had the great pleasure of working in the department of cardiothoracic surgery starting in 1989. Although I worked in the resesarch labs, Dr. Shumway always made a point to say hello, and perhaps share a joke with me. His wit and smile will be missed.

Posted by: Mary Zasio , February 10, 2006 12:14 PM


General Public Comments


I wish to offer my condolences to the family of Dr. Shumway. I was born with a congenital heart defect in 1971. By all rights there is no reason that I should be alive today. Except for Norman Shumway, he operated on me when no one else would. He performed a complicated A/V canal repair on me in July of 1980. Without his efforts I would not be alive today and I am deeply saddened by news of his passing. Thank you Dr. Shumway, and God Bless you.

Posted by: Chuck Green , February 26, 2006 6:59 PM

I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Shumway's death. He holds a very special place in my heart that functions because of him and the grace of God. In 1972 my pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Marvin Auerback, was playing tennis with Dr. Shumway and asked if he would be willing to take a look at a young girl with Transposition of the Great Arteries. Dr. Shumway took a chance on me and performed what would become life-saving cardiac surgery. I have wonderfully fond memories of his gentle, humorous spririt and of him playing with my "Mrs. Beasley" doll everytime he came to see me. I am grateful for his tenacity and for not giving up when my prognosis did not look so good. I now serve as a hospital chaplain and teach in a program that trains chaplains. My work is profoundly motivated by my experience at Stanford and Dr. Shumway. May God Bless him and keep him. - Susan ("Susie")

Posted by: Susan Roberts , February 14, 2006 4:46 PM

A great loss to the medical profession and his family. Dave and myself were friends of Norn during school days at Jackson, Michigan. We well remember the day in the 6th grade at Bloomfield school during a volley ball game when Norm ran under the net in doing so one of his front teeth hooked onto the net and out popped the tooth. Our condolences to his family and friends. The Shore and Dewitt families

Posted by: DAN SHORE & DAVID DEWITT , February 12, 2006 7:19 PM

A giant of a man! A true hero of medical research and care.

Posted by: Constantine M , February 11, 2006 2:46 PM

I offer my condolences to the family of Dr. Shumway.

Posted by: Oscar J. Abilez , February 10, 2006 7:55 PM

I have been a Stanford School of Medicine employee for over 30 years, and while I did not know Dr. Shumway directly, I knew of his work. Even though I had no professional relationship with him, he always had a smile when I passed him in the halls. His appearance was one of gentleness and confidence. He is truly one of the great medical visionaries the world has seen, and that vision will move forward with those he taught and inspired.

What he gave to his patients and colleagues should be remembered every day each of us walks through the Medical Center - share your heart and smile! I offer my condolences to Dr. Shumway's family and I also celebrate all the good he has brought to those he touched.

Posted by: Tim Gadus , February 10, 2006 3:20 PM

I've read about Dr. Shumway's great pioneering works.
My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

Posted by: Angie Shelton , February 10, 2006 1:32 PM

I wish to offer my condolences to the family of Dr. Shumway. I am thankful and indebted to surgeons of his caliber for devoting their lives to their work. His dedication of serving in this capacity obviously has affected many lives. May the God of all comfort, comfort you during this time.


Ruby Faiferek

Posted by: Ruby Faiferek , February 10, 2006 12:03 PM

I didn't know Dr. Shumway, but he was a great man. His work saved many lives. You can save lives too, by registering to donate your organs:
Donate California Organ Registry: http://www.donatelifecalifornia.org
United Network for Organ Sharing: http://www.unos.org/

Posted by: Kevin Boyd , February 10, 2006 11:52 AM


Patients of Norman Shumway, and Their Families


Catching up on old reading, I have just learned of Dr. Norman Shumway's death this past February. What a terrific doctor. He operated on my father, Arthur Cohn (Stanford '25) in 1969, replacing a defective heart valve. Increasingly condemned to inactivity, my father gained a new lease on life, and lived to be 80, an extra 15 years of good life. He continued to work - something he enjoyed tremendously - until the day he died. He finally got to travel with my mother. He saw both his children married, and met three of his grandchildren. Extraordinary in its ordinariness, my father's many extra years were a gift to family, friends and colleagues. As for Dr. Shumway's apparently famous sense of humor, I remember asking him when he came out of the operating room to tell us that all was well - "how long will a valve like this last?" Shumway's answer? "A lifetime." I laughed then and felt better, and it still makes me smile.
--Marcia Cohn Growdon '67 PhD '76

Posted by: Marcia Cohn Growdon , July 5, 2006 12:58 PM

I was a foreign post-graduate student at Stanford. Dr. Shumway performed open heart surgery on me in December 1962. Since then I've had a full and busy life and I remember him with much gratitude. He and Dr. Tinsley were so welcoming to my parents who came over, no doubt with much trepidation, from London, England; they saw the dogs on which Dr. Shumway was experimenting, and talked about the "sciecne fiction" idea of heart transplants. He touched the lives of many people.

Posted by: Wendy Rose Fox, nee Grant , April 2, 2006 10:40 AM

I am thankful to God for Dr. Shumway, as he performed two heart surgeries on my daughter at ages 14 months and 4 years for an A-V canal. She is now nearly 31 years old and is enjoying a full life. How privileged we were to have been referred to Dr. Shumway! I am praying for comfort for his family and friends. He left the world a much better place by saving so many precious lives!

Posted by: Carole Johnson , March 17, 2006 10:18 AM

I was also born a blue baby, and when I was 10 years old, this great, great, great Dr. Shumway also performed open heart surgery on me. I remember, I was at the Stanford medical clinic, and it was Christmas 1960 or 1961. I also remember getting lots of presents fom a lot of wonderful people. I am now soon to be 55 years old, and must admit growing up in the '60s and '70s could have put a strain on anyone's heart. He was a great man, a myth and a legend. And for that his legacy will live on forever.

Posted by: Richard McCallum , March 16, 2006 1:06 AM

Dr. Shumway's pioneering surgical team performed heart surgery on my sister in the 1960s when she was just 4 years old. Thanks to Dr. Shumway, I have a sister and my daughter has a beloved aunt. We wish our friends Lisa Shumway, Dr. Shumway's stunning redheaded daughter, and Sienna and Sander, Dr. Shumway's beautiful redheaded grandchildren, and all of the Shumway family our deepest condolences at this difficult time.

Posted by: Carol Fields , March 14, 2006 8:21 PM

My 27-year-old wife had an aortic valve replacement in 1997. Her surgeon was Dr. Randall Griepp who was trained under Dr. Norman Shumway. The world owes a huge debt of gratitude to Dr.Shumway for his transformation of cardiac surgery and thereby saving thousands of lives. May his memory be blessed.

Posted by: Isaac Goldberg , March 13, 2006 9:10 AM

Dr. Shumway performed open-heart surgery for my defective mitral valve in 1968, 1969 and 1973. The quality of life I had during my childhood was very good, almost normal. I was able to go to school, able to run and play to a large degree, even though I had severe congestive heart failure that required mulitiple surgeries. I had spent most of my childhood in the hospital at Stanford so many of the doctors became almost sort of a "fatherly figure" to me, and Dr. Shumway, even more so. He always made sure that I knew that there was a solution to my heart problem, that it wouldn't be with me all of my life (I had my defective valve replaced with a mechanical heart valve in 1992). He also encouraged my mother, who was a single parent at the time, telling her to "let him play" (she was a tad overprotective and would yell at me if I would run too hard). From the time I was 6 to my early 30's, he was there. As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I look forward to seeing Dr. Shumway again, in a paradise where there will be no more heart problems or other illnesses. I'm grateful to Dr. Shumway for the chance at a normal life. My deepest sympathy to his family.

Posted by: Damon Pardue , March 1, 2006 2:49 PM

There are few people in our lives that we actually owe our lives to. Dr. Shumway was one of those people. He performed 2 bypass operations on my father during the 1980s that saved his life. He was also present when my Dad had his third bypass operation. During this period my father became very close to Dr. Shumway and although I never met him in person, I and my entire family would like to thank him for giving us our father for many more years than we would have if not for his incredible person.

The Voyvodich family sends our deepest sympathy to Dr. Shumways's family and words cannot fully describe the respect and fondness we all feel for him.

Posted by: Nick Voyvodich , February 28, 2006 9:55 AM

Dr. Shumway is responsible for the full and satisfying life I lead. He performed heart surgery on me in 1961 to correct a congenital defect. I was just 7 at the time. I was lucky enough to see Dr. Shumway for a follow-up when I was 12. I was able to thank him for the gift of life.

He has touched so many live and will continue to do so.

Posted by: Karen Burgess , February 28, 2006 9:08 AM

The name Dr Shumway has always been special to me. He performed open heart surgery on my dad when I was 6 years old, in 1972. My dad was a doctor as well, as I remember him having total confidence and regard for Dr Shumway. Because of the surgery, we had an extra, very special, 20 years of my dad's life. When he did pass away, I remember reading letters from his past patients and how wonderful it was to know that he had truly touched people's lives. Please know that I feel the same way about Dr Shumway. When my dad died, my mom shared the following poem with me, I have had it on my refrigerator ever since...

Every year everything I have ever learned
in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss whose other side
is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. To live in this world you must be able
to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
(Mary Oliver)

Posted by: Hollice Stone , February 25, 2006 10:25 AM

My deepest sympathy for the family. Although I've never met Dr. Shumway, I am truly blessed to have my father, Danilo Oncena, still in my life. After two heart transplants he continues to be my superhero. I am forever grateful for Dr. Shumway, our king of all hearts, will never be forgotten. Thank you

Posted by: MGBADA EZE , February 21, 2006 7:33 AM

My daughter Patti was born in 1967 with what proved to be an inoperable heart defect which included no true pulmonary arteries. I read in the news that year about the first heart transplant and realized that this was something that could extend my daughter's life. I followed Dr. Shumway's career since that time and moved to the bay area in 1988.

Patti's condition gradually deteriorated and in 1999 she was placed on the waiting list for a heart-lung transplant. During the 16-month wait for organs, she experienced several small heart attacks. In October 2000, Patti received the call from Stanford that they had organs for her and the transplant was done by Dr. Robbins.

Before the transplant Patti became exhausted just getting dressed in the morning, and two years after her transplant, she walked and jogged the 26-mile Maui Marathon to benefit the Lukemia & Lymphoma Society. Since the surgery, she has had over 5 years of a full life, doing things she was never able to do in all her life before the transplant.

I know that my daughter is alive today because of the perseverance of Dr. Shumway with his research. I appreciate him more than I can express. His life's work has given patients like my daughter Patti the ability to have more years on this earth doing things that were impossible before the transplant.

I was at the Reunion Party in early 2003 and had the opportunity that evening to photograph Patti standing between Dr. Shumway and Dr. James Theodore (who had been Patti's doctor for 18 years). I treasure that photo more than any other.

Posted by: JoAnne Klock , February 18, 2006 12:47 PM

I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Shumway's death. He holds a very special place in my heart that functions because of him and the grace of God. In 1972 my pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Marvin Auerback, was playing tennis with Dr. Shumway and asked if he would be willing to take a look at a young girl with Transposition of the Great Arteries. Dr. Shumway took a chance on me and performed what would become life-saving cardiac surgery. I have wonderfully fond memories of his gentle, humorous spririt and of him playing with my "Mrs. Beasley" doll everytime he came to see me. I am grateful for his tenacity and for not giving up when my prognosis did not look so good. I now serve as a hospital chaplain and teach in a program that trains chaplains. My work is profoundly motivated by my experience at Stanford and Dr. Shumway. May God Bless him and keep him. - Susan ("Susie")

Posted by: Susan Roberts , February 14, 2006 04:46 PM

Posted by: Susan Roberts , February 16, 2006 11:56 AM

I was 17 months old when Dr. Shumway repaired my congenital heart defect. I weighed 10 pounds in November 1980 when he repaired my truncus arteriosis type 1 defect. My cardiologist recommended him since he had more experience on children with this type of defect. I have had two more heart surgeries since then and consider myself very fortunate to have been his patient. My parents remind me to this day how wonderful Dr. Shumway and Dr. Reitz were to me and my family. We are saddened by his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. God bless.

Posted by: Brett Pyle , February 15, 2006 8:43 PM

I was born a "blue baby" with a microatrial/no tricuspid valve in 1967 and was not expected to live more than 6 months. In 1973 I was suffering from heart failure and had spent most of that year in and out of the hospital. I was in desperate need of a second open heart surgery and making the situation more difficult was that I lived in Honolulu, Hawaii. I was fortunate to have my operation performed by Dr. Shumway. He was a genius because none of my cardiologists knew that my heart had no tricuspid valve and Dr. Shumway would discover this during the operation, and he fashioned one out of existing cartilage that lasted for 12 years. My third operation at the age of 18 required the placement of a pig valve for the tricuspid which has worked great for 20 years. I will miss Dr. Shumway so much. His bedside manners were so warm and affectionate and he really made you feel comfortable and confident before and after the operation. One of my fondest memories of Dr. Shumway was post-op when I was 18 and I was in so much pain and he came to check up on me and he asks how I was doing and then he answers his own question with a smile by saying, "I know you feel like crap," and that summed it up. Thanks to his hard work I have lived a full and meaningful life. Thank you Dr Shumway for your humor, your warmth, your intelligence and your willingness to take risks and in writing this piece I realize how sad it is for me to say goodbye.

Posted by: Mark A. Guerin , February 15, 2006 4:05 AM

We are truly blessed to have know Dr. Shumway and it saddens us to hear that he has passed away. I have so much gratitude and appreciation for him and his work. Words just don't describe my thoughts. In 1974, we were blessed to have a little girl but at the age of 8 months was diagnosed with a hole in the upper part of her heart along with clefts in one valve. Dr. Shumway performed surgery on her at 13 months old and saved her life. Over the next 10+ years he watched over her and I had the pleasure of getting to know this man and his great gift, and his gentleness.

To his family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. He deeply touched us in so many ways over the years. He will never be forgotten! Marilyn Suess

Posted by: Marilyn Suess , February 14, 2006 10:02 AM

My deepest sympathy for the family. Although I've never met Dr. Shumway, I am truly blessed to have my father, Danilo Oncena, still in my life. After two heart transplants he continues to be my superhero. I am forever grateful for Dr. Shumway's perservance, drive and expertise. Dr. Shumway, our king of all hearts, will never be forgotten. Thank you!

Posted by: Frances Oncena Santelises , February 14, 2006 7:12 AM

I was only 7 yrs. old,in 1967 when Dr. Shumway performed open heart surgery on me. It was a big deal back then and only a few surgeons in the world would even attempt to open the chest of someone so young, but I'm greatful he did. Without the fine work of Dr.Shumway 38 years ago, I would have only lived to my teens. I only wish I could have thanked him in person before he passed. Thank you...Wade Lahr
Wade Lahr (Grass Valley, CA )

Posted by: wade lahr , February 13, 2006 7:39 PM

i have dr. shumway to thank for being able to say i have spent the last 22 1/2 years with my hubby. john was transplanted at stanford sept 21 1983, # 279. At that time transplants were given 18 months to 2 years. if dr. shumway had not contiuned research in this field my husband would not be by my side as i am writing this note. THANK YOU for all you have done and for my husband's and our wonderful life together.

Posted by: karen bello , February 13, 2006 1:54 AM

In 1974 when I was 7 years old I was blessed to have surgery by Dr. Shumway. I was born a blue baby and Dr. Shumway performed open heart surgery to save my life. Without the surgery I would not be alive today. Since my time spent at Stanford and remembering Dr. Shumway I wanted to work at Stanford and touch peoples lives like Dr. Shumway touched mine. I am proud to say I am currently a nurse working at Stanford. I was also fortunate to meet him again a few years ago. Some of my incredible fellow nurses and doctors learned about my story and arranged a meeting so I could visit with Dr. Shumway. As only Dr. Shumway could do he remembered everything about me, my family, and the surgery he performed on me. I thanked him for giving me life. We had a pleasant visit and I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to thank him and let him know that he is forever in mine and my families prayers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr.Shumway's family and friends during this difficult time.

Posted by: Annamarie Cervelli-Varo , February 12, 2006 8:48 PM

My first Stanford visit was at the age of 4 months. I was born with a congenital heart defect, Tricuspid Atresia with Transposition of the Great Vessels. Dr Shumway and his team performed surgery and kept me alive to eventually perform the banding of the pulminary artery and then subsequently the Fontan Procedure. I am extremely grateful for his intervention in my life. Without him I would not be here today. I will always love him as a member of my family.

Posted by: Genevie Mantooth , February 12, 2006 7:42 PM

My father had heart valve replacement twice at Stanford - in 1992 and 2001. He chose Stanford because of its cardiac surgery reputation - a legacy of Dr. Shumway for sure. Many thanks to Dr. Shumway for his contribution to Stanford Hospital and School of Medicine...and all the other medical staff who continue to work miracles every day.

Posted by: Bill Shepherd , February 12, 2006 10:45 AM

I was born in 1958 with tetralogy of fallot. I presume I was one of the "guinea pigs" of the Blalock procedure, which Dr. Shumway performed on me when in the early 60's. I vividly recall the first time I met Dr. Shumway - I was with my parents, waiting what seemed a long ime in a chilly examination room. Dr. Shumway flew in the door, and my little kid sensors went into action to evaluate this tall adult. Immediately, I liked Norm Shumway, felt totally confident in his care, but felt sorry for him because he looked so tired! The open heart surgery was virtually painless for me - the entire Stanford Medical Center experience was actually rather fun for a 6 year old! Many years later, I was participating in a 90 minute "aerobathon" at my gym, frequently praying thanks to Dr. Shumway for making that possible. Now, in my late forties, I suffer from another inherited defect - severe clinical depression. Besides the love of my 5 wonderful siblings, the realization that Dr. Shumway intervened to save my life deters me from wanting to end it. My 80 year-old mother died a few months ago. I know she'll approach Dr. Shumway in heaven to give him a kiss of gratitude.

Posted by: Victoria Ann Maria Stein , February 12, 2006 7:06 AM

I had sugery done by Dr. Shumway in a series of heart sugery in 1966, 1974 and 1976 to repair a congential heart defect. Today, I am still doing well with no problems and leading a normal life. I am very greatful to him and wish I could have been able to thank him personally how greatful I am. Thanks again.

Posted by: Early Child Patient , February 11, 2006 4:31 PM

I was born in 1962 with a heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot. Dr. Shumway performed a Blalock surgery (now no longer done) on me when I was four, and when I was 10 he performed open heart surgery to correct the defect. I have been fine ever since!

He was such a genius, and such a kind, unassuming man. One of the hospital volunteers told me that one day one of the pillar ashtrays in the hallway (yes, there used to be ashtrays in the hospital hallways!), had fallen over and spilled its contents. She saw Dr. Shumway walk past, and to her astonishment, he stopped, stooped over, and cleaned up the mess before continuing down the hall.

Posted by: Lynn Jeffries , February 11, 2006 1:21 PM

In 1963 I was 5 years old when I first met Dr. Shumway. He repaired deformed heart valves and a hole in my heart. Today, I am 47 years old and leading a wonderful and happy life. All of this would not be possible without Dr. Shumway's expertise and dedication. It amazing that I can still remember his face and his confidence and "rest-assuredness" at age 5. I realize that I'm just one story of thousands, but when I heard of his passing I became teary eyed. Were it not for Dr. Shumay, I would not have enjoyed all the wonderful things my life has brought to me. Thank you Dr. Shumway!

Posted by: Mary-Cait Daniel , February 11, 2006 9:19 AM

I was a patient of Dr. Shumway in 1987 when he performed open heart surgery on me due to a congenital heart defect. I was 7 at the time. After the surgery, a day or so later, he stopped by my room to do a quick hello. I asked him if he wanted to play my toy slotmachine game, which he did. But when he did a head popped up and squirted his tie with a little water. He smiled and laughed, brightening a young boy's day and hospital visit. I am ever appreciative of the work he has done for my-self and that of others. I more than likely wouldn't be alive today had he not chosen medicine. My thoughts are with Dr. Shumway's family at this difficult time. Thank you for everything. ~ eric

Posted by: Eric Lanyon , February 10, 2006 1:23 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Shumway's family and friends. I am a Stanford employee. In 1976, Dr. Shumway performed by-pass surgery on my dad. I'm thankful to Dr. Shumway for giving my dad and our family another 20 years together. Sue Dutra

Posted by: Susan Dutra , February 10, 2006 11:55 AM