Very few years ago, knowledge of congenital malformations of the heart and great vessels was meager, and the concern of but few physicians and scientists. Little could be done. The outlook was bleak. Classifications, indicative of prognosis, overshadowed the importance of making difficult diagnoses. Severity of anomalies determined disability and length of life. Physicians could help but little.
The distinguished contributions of Drs. Blalock, Gross, and Taussig have influenced remarkable advances. Today there exists a worldwide surge of effective investigation and corrective surgery into all phases of cardiovascular dynamics: developmental, diagnostic, and curative. Singly or in teams, workers in all basic and clinical science disciplines make progress of fundamental and practical value. The scientists are legion in number, and their accomplishments notable. The horizons of expectation are now limitless.
The imagination, ingenuity, judgment, and courage of these pioneers have been an inspiration and stimulation to physicians and scientists alike. In a large measure they have been the outstanding contributors whereby thousands, previously doomed, have been restored to useful, healthy lives; thousands more have been improved in health, and countless others have renewed hopes for the future.