Luke's Brazil Diary
Randas Batista is a hero in Brazil.
I met this internationally renowned heart surgeon one morning in Seattle, as I
took pictures of him performing the surgery that made him famous. He developed
a procedure in which he cuts a big chunk of heart tissue out of an enlarged, diseased
heart, then sews it back together, smaller and stronger.
had dinner later, after the operation was finished, and that same evening he invited
me to Brazil. I spent the next several months teaching myself Portuguese and preparing
for my adventure to the Brazilian jungle to live with Dr. Batista.
October of 1999 I flew in an American Airlines jet to Curitiba, Brazil, to work
by Dr. Batista's side and learn what life is like for Brazil's most famous heart
surgeon. He met me at the airport in his cowboy boots and gave me a small package
of peanuts. Then he drove me to his ranch, where we went riding horses. I took
the photo on the left during my first day in Brazil.