Machinist is unsung hero of heart treatment advances

Houston Chronicle
Juan Fernandez, the machinist at Houston's Methodist Hospital, works on a project in his machine shop at Methodist, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Houston. Fernandez's handiwork has made some very significant contributions to in the history of cardiovascular surgery. He works on designing all kinds of instruments for the doctors and researchers at hospitals whether they be complex prototypes for medical devices or trying to remake simple surgical tools that have been discontinued. Prior to coming to Methodist two years ago, Fernandez worked for Baylor College of Medicine as their machinist for nearly 25 years, working with greats like Dr. Michael DeBakey, helping the heart surgeon design the first prototype for his left ventricular assist device.

Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle

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