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image: Campus NewsAstronomical odds
Many 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.

While 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.'"

It 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.

The 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.

Thanks 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.
-C.S


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  FEBRUARY 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 3


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