Happy 100th Birthday Lucy!

Today would have been Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday. The comedienne died in 1989, but she still has legions of fans around the world.

On April 18, 1989, Ball was at her home in Beverly Hills when she complained of chest pains. An ambulance was called and she was rushed to the emergency room of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was diagnosed as having a dissecting aortic aneurysm and underwent heart surgery for nearly eight hours, receiving an aorta from a 27 year old male donor. The surgery was successful, and Ball began recovering, even walking around her room with little assistance. On April 26, shortly after dawn, Ball awoke with severe back pains. Her aorta had ruptured in a second location and Ball quickly lost consciousness. All attempts to revive her proved unsuccessful, and she died at approximately 05:47 PST.

Interestingly, Lucille Ball died of the same disease that caused the deaths of  John Ritter and Richard Holbrooke. Yesterday’s blog talked about how Sean Kingston narrowly escaped the same fate.

Let’s just enjoy a couple of my favorite I Love Lucy sketches:

Here’s another:

Tell me your favorite “I Love Lucy” moment.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Jude

    November 17, 2013 at 4:10 am

    You should talk to Measha Brueggergosman, a Canadian soprano singer who was only 30 years old in 2009 when she had an aortic dissection. I believe it was missed by the emergency room doctor and she was sent home. Her symptoms were super high blood pressure, a feeling that something was pushing on her throat (not the typical chest pain), and neurological symptoms (numbness in her hands…then couldn’t feel her legs!). It was her family doctor who sent her to another emergency department with a letter for the emerg doc…I don’t think it was long before she was having surgery.

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