Recently, I’ve been trying to find out more about the man who developed the Rastelli procedure, the operation I had (twice – once in 1982 and once in 2008) to correct my congenital heart defect. I don’t know what I was expecting to find out, but I did not expect to be so moved by the story of the man without whose research, knowledge and dedication I would almost certainly not be here today.
Giancarlo Rastelli was born in Italy in 1933 and died in the U.S. at the age of only 36. During his too short life he worked tirelessly to develop surgical techniques and to care for his patients above and beyond his ‘call of duty’. Other people have written about Dr. Rastelli much better than I could, so if you would like to find out more about him there are informative articles on, for example, the Mayo Clinic’s site (he worked at the Mayo for much of his career) and at MercatorNet.
From what I have read, Giancarlo Rastelli was a man of great skill and knowledge, but, just as importantly, he was also a man of great compassion and love.