Cardiology: Five of a Kind

Young James McCIain was pathetically small and weak when he started his family's procession into the Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa three years ago. The boy had suffered since birth from a narrowing of the valve between his heart and lungs, and a hole in the septum (wall) between the right and left upper chambers of the heart. Surgeon Joe Burge Jr. hooked the ten-year-old up to a heart-lung machine, closed the septal defect and widened the valve. Though still short, Jimmy is now a sturdy fifth-grader.

Next to appear was Jimmy's brother Willard, who at 14 was dwarfed...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!