TOO BIG A HEART

IN RURAL BRAZIL A SURGEON USES A REVOLUTIONARY AND CONTROVERSIAL METHOD OF REPAIRING

There is an expression in Brazil--dar um jeito--that, loosely translated, means no problem is unsolvable and no barrier too great to cross. Dr. Randas Jose Vilela Batista adopted this attitude in dealing with the patients in his tiny rural hospital outside Curitiba, in the south of Brazil. Many of them were dying of congestive heart failure, which caused their hearts to weaken and enlarge. Because he lacked the resources necessary for the standard American treatments for the disease--drug therapy and heart transplant--Batista needed to come up with a different solution. The one he finally adopted appears to be a relatively simple...

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