The body of Dr. Michael DeBakey will be lying in repose in the rotunda of City Hall until 7pm this evening. Thousands are expected to visit and pay their final respects. His family will be in attendance from three until seven.
Contrary to what I reported to you earlier, Dr. DeBakey actually died on Friday night. (Why the news did not hit the AP wires until after eight Saturday morning, I have no idea.)
His innovations, gifts to and influence on the world of medicine, particularly in the specialized area of heart surgery, are truly inestimable.
[I happened to catch an interview with Dr. Denton Cooley, with whom Dr. DeBakey had once had a serious rift that lasted for many years. I was pleased to learn that they had gotten together and patched things up a year or two ago. So often, it seems, we just let these things fester inside us until we one day realize that it's too late for a reconciliation.
I never met Dr. DeBakey nor any member of his team. When my father came down here in 1986 for his aneurysm surgery, it was one of Dr. Cooley's associates who performed the operation.]
Funeral services for Dr. DeBakey are scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart downtown.