THE WORK OF HUMAN HANDS is a timeless medical journey through pioneering surgeon Dr. Hardy Hendren’s legendary operating room that the Los Angeles Times called “impossible to forget.”
Set at Boston Children’s Hospital, which U.S. News & World Report consistently rates as America’s best children’s hospital, THE WORK OF HUMAN HANDS is available now for the first time in digital format and a new paperback will also be available soon. The new edition includes a fresh introduction and a greatly expanded epilogue updating readers on Hendren and patient Lucy Moore today.
The central narrative remains an epic story of struggle against seemingly impossible odds as Hendren faces one of his biggest challenges: Lucy Moore, a fourteen-month-old girl born with life-threatening defects of the heart, central nervous system and genitourinary system. Before Hendren, surgeons regarded Lucy's condition as fatal.
But at the hands of master surgeon Hendren, she will go on to lead a normal life. And Hendren is aided in that quest by Aldo R. Castaneda, the pioneering cardiac surgeon, and R. Michael Scott, the internationally renowned neurosurgeon. Hendren, Castaneda and Scott are all affiliated with the Harvard Medical School.
The Work of Human Hands is also the story of a revered hospital, its lore, its people and their remarkable accomplishments – an example of the best of health care in America. Poignant and dramatic, lively and engrossing, with breathtaking insight into the craft of surgery, The Work of Human Hands is medical and literary journalism at its best.
“At a time when TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and ER win huge followings for their stories, The Work of Human Hands stands out as a real-life medical drama with a cast of uniquely colorful characters,” said Crossroad publisher David N. Wilson. “We are thrilled to publish this new edition of the classic Work of Human Hands.”
Said author G. Wayne Miller: “At a time when health care dominates the public discourse, and rightly so, it’s refreshing to rejoice in the triumphs. American medicine truly can perform miracles.”
Today, the 14-month-old baby who spent nearly 24 hours on Hendren’s operating table is a college graduate, fully healed. Hendren performed his last surgery in 2004, when he was 78, but he continues to work full-time on his non-profit W. Hardy Hendren Education Foundation for Pediatric Surgery and Urology. He still receives some of the world’s most prestigious medical honors, most recently the Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons, in June 2012.
The publisher and author are donating a portion of the proceeds from this edition of The Work of Human Hands to the Hendren Foundation.
Known as the top pediatric center in the U.S., Children's Hospital in Boston--and its world-famous chief surgeon Hardy Hendren--is the focus of this well-researched study by Miller ( Thunder Rise ), a staff writer for the Providence Journal-Bulletin, where his award-winning series on the hospital appeared. The book discusses advances in pediatrics, especially those made in Boston; new procedures devised by Hendren and notable predecessors and colleagues; and the patients whose lives they saved. All of this is engrossing. However, the narrative jumps back and forth in time distractingly, and recreates often superfluous dialogue and inner thoughts of the protagonists. Of great interest are the firsthand accounts of complex corrective or reconstructive surgery, often performed on the same patient and involving one or more systems (cardiovascular, lower intestinal, genital, etc.). Photos not seen by PW . Author tour.