I photographed my first open heart surgery today. Granted, the patient was a dog, not a person... But still, it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen, cooler than the Klan rally, cooler than the $57 million cocaine and heroine bust, cooler than Janet Reno's (actual) dance party.
The patient, Lucky, is a shelter dog who had a heart murmur. She did incredibly well throughout the whole procedure. They think she'll make a full recovery if she makes it through the night tonight.
They actually let me get up on a (spinning) stool and shoot down on the scene in the OR. (These people don't know me very well.) I did not fall off or accidentally fling anything into the body cavity, thank you very much. :)
I really wasn't grossed out. The hardest part, for me, was when the vet tech had to give Lucky her first morphine shot and she kept crawling in my lap and cowering in my armpit and I had to push her away. No one from the shelter could stay with her, so it was just me and the two vets (who originally caught the heart defect) who observed the procedure. I was trying to take her picture as the one vet was petting her, etc. She kept licking my face when I covered it with the camera.
The family who originally adopted her decided (heartbrokenly) that they really can't give her the attention she needs during her recovery. Anyone want a gorgeous German Shepherd mix dog with a "good as new" heart? :)
Still, it was just.. cool. Jason, I have a whole new level of respect for you. How does your back not kill you after two hours?