Pioneer Award
2007 - Terry D. King

"The Pioneer Award," was given to a pioneer who paved the way to what we do today in the cath lab. The award was given to Terry D. King, MD who was the first person to implant and close an ASD in a human being. Let me give an overview of Terry's history to you.

 Dr. Terry Dean King of Monroe, LA was born in Baytown, Texas. He was raised on a farm. He attended Lee High school, and was voted most outstanding boy by the teachers. Terry was active on the baseball and track teams. Terry graduated from the University of Texas with a BA degree in entomology in 1961. While pursuing his masters in entomology, he was introduced to medicine when a professor shared some information on the heart-lung machine being developed at the time. Thus, he transferred to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and earned the MD in 1965 after only 2 years and 9 months.

 He did his pediatric internship at the University of Texas Branch in Galveston from 6/'65-6/'66. Then he moved to Duke University for his residency from 7/'66-7/'67. He was chosen to be a Wyeth fellow during his residency. This was followed by his Pediatric Cardiology fellowship also at Duke from 7/'67-7/'70. After that, he served two years in the US Air Force. He left the Air Force, and joined the staff at the Ochsner clinic, partly due to the support he was given by a surgeon there, Dr. Mills. Both were interested in "non-invasive closure of holes in the heart," so a long friendship developed between the two. He met a machinist in Baton Rouge that helped him design the umbrella. Every Friday he drove to Baton Rouge to meet. Drs. King and Mills patented the umbrella for ASDs on April 1, 1975. They also worked on a similar umbrella for PDAs.

 His breakthrough came in 1975 when he performed the first closure of an ASD in a young female patient by the name of Suzette Creppel. This was so big that even NBC nightly news covered the story. Terry traveled everywhere in the US and the globe to give talks on his new technology; he would often meet his family in the airport to get another suitcase, to keep on going. He decided to leave Ochsner and move to Monroe, LA, where he set up the NICU, PICU, cardiac cath lab, started the congenital heart disease program, and founded the
Ronald McDonald house.

 His pioneering spirit has not been limited to medicine. They say, "you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy". Having been raised on a farm, he came to Monroe and started buying land, and now has a ranch (Kingsland) with over 500 acres of rolling hills..that is why he always says "I'm just a country pediatrician." He raised Mustangs and Burrows, as well as Buffalo and red Brangus cattle. Later, he ventured into raising blueberries and muscadine grapes. At one point, he produced over 60 tons of grapes in one year. Now, the ranch is raising "natural beef" to be sold commercially. He owns two restaurants, one of them has his name on it "King's Chop House". During the years in Monroe, he had many visitors, the rich, the famous and the regular. On a personal level, he has five children (3 boys: Brady, David and Jay, and 2 girls, twins: Allison, and Kimberly. He has 11 grand children, including triplet and twin grandsons. His interest in the interventional field is obvious; he has regularly attended many of the PICS meetings. It gave me great pleasure and honor to recognize Dr. King as a pioneer in our field, and the first person to implant an ASD device.

 -- Dr. Ziyad Hijazi