Cardiac surgeon, Buffalo lifesaver, on travel ban: ‘Not the America we know’

Lovely article about my brother Syed Tasnim Raza by Sean Kirst in the Buffalo News:

ScreenHunter_2579 Feb. 08 18.19I reached Dr. Syed Raza by telephone last week. I was trying to find the man who saved my father’s life.

Was it Raza? Neither of us could be sure.

What is beyond question is that Raza extended hundreds, even thousands, of lives in Buffalo.

He is a cardiac surgeon. He speaks with awe of the feeling when you operate upon a human heart, when you see a heart that was stilled for surgery resume beating again, when you watch as that beating “becomes stronger and stronger.”

It is a miracle, the gift of life itself.

Raza, 70, is with the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Most of his career was spent at what is now called Buffalo General Medical Health Center. He learned from Dr. George Schimert, his teacher and mentor, the man Raza describes as the father of open heart surgery in Western New York.

“I love Buffalo,” said Raza, a Bills fan whose children grew up in Cheektowaga and Snyder. He was a surgeon at Buffalo General from 1972 to 2005, when he left to start a new heart program in West Virginia. He is now at Columbia, where he manages postoperative cardiac surgical patients. He enjoys the chance to learn about their everyday lives and priorities.

Over the years, he met some 8,000 other patients in the most intense of ways: He caused their wounded hearts to beat again.

More here.