I am the chief of pediatric heart surgery at Duke Health. Being a heart surgeon was always a dream of mine as a child. Spending a summer in medical school with legendary pediatric heart surgeon, Aldo Castaneda, cemented my desire to devote my life to this profession. Clinically, I love the creativity, complexity and challenge associated with my work. I am also able to satisfy my investigational curiosities through an active basic and clinical research laboratory focusing on congenital heart disease. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to fulfill this dream back at Duke, a place that was so influential in my surgical training. Outside the hospital, I most enjoy spending time with my wife of 20+ years and three young children. We are an active family, always on the go… which mirrors my life at work.
Donation and transplantation professionals are relentlessly exploring innovative ways to decrease waitlist mortality and increase organ utilization within the adult and pediatric population. Most recently, a team at Duke Health performed the first world’s first pediatric partial heart transplant that involved the fusing of donated arteries and valves to a patient’s existing heart. Not only does this remarkable procedure have the potential to extend the life expectancy of pediatric patients who otherwise would be waiting for a life-saving heart transplant, but it allows surgeons to make use of hearts that would otherwise go untransplanted. Join us to hear from Dr. Joseph Turek, Duke’s Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, and his colleagues who assisted in making this surgery a success to learn more about the overall process from procurement to transplant.