Gilbert Hernandez III – Pulmonary Valve Replacement Survivor

A brand new baby. A pioneering heart surgery. The rest is history.


Gilbert had no idea he was making history 22 years ago. He was just 2 days old when Dr. John Calhoon repaired his heart. It was a complicated procedure that had never been performed on such tiny baby.

"I'm not sure everybody believes it's the right thing to do," was how Dr. Calhoon described the decision. It was March of 1993, and Dr. Calhoon, serving then as chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at the UT Health Science Center, didn't have a better alternative.

"They only gave us a 50-50 chance," recalls Gilbert's mother, Maria Hernandez. But they really didn't have a choice. "Take him home and he'll die in a day or two." His father, Gilbert Hernandez II can still hear those words.

That was then.

Now, Gilbert is 22 years old, attending college and interested in broadcasting.

Watch the video below to hear the rest of Gilbert's remarkable story!

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