a Chicago scholar has won an award for brains, skills, or talents,
but Dietrich Müller, professor in physics, the Enrico Fermi
Institute, and the College, deserves one for just plain luck.
attending a December 11 business seminar on campus, Müller
blacked out during the first lecture. Three major arteries near
his heart had become more than 95 percent clogged, resulting
in a massive coronary. "It was like I was watching a movie
and somebody turned off the projector," Müller later
told the Chicago Tribune. "I remember thinking,
'Oh, this is bad.'"
was bad, but it could have been worse. Sitting near Müller
were three members of the University of Chicago Hospitals staff-Yan
Katsnelson, clinical instructor of cardiac and thoracic surgery;
Jonathan Moss, professor in anesthesiology and critical care;
and Jesse Hall, MD'77, professor in pulmonary and critical care.
three laid Müller on the floor and, realizing that he had
no pulse and was not breathing, administered CPR and mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation until an ambulance arrived. Paramedics restored
Müller's heartbeat with a defibrillator and transported
him to the University hospital.
to the trio's quick actions-and the pure luck that put them
there-Müller survived the ordeal with no brain damage and
returned to work in January to continue his 30-plus years of
research on cosmic rays.