Medicine: Affair of the Heart

As a boy in Park Rapids, Minn., Richard Russell could not run and play like other kids; if he had, he might have had heart failure. His trouble was diagnosed by the family doctor as a narrowing of the aorta, the great trunk artery from the heart. Now 20, and living in Pacoima, Calif., Richard Russell had even been warned not to marry, though he was engaged to Gloria Spires, 19.

Last week, Russell was wheeled into an operating room at Los Angeles County Hospital. Above the table hung a television camera. Surgeon John...

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