THE MAN WHO UNFOLDED A THOUSAND HEARTS
Genre Duration Format Budget
Documentary 52 min HD 277.955 euros
Subject For centuries the human heart was a mistery to medical science: neither its structure nor its function was understood. This film tells the fascinating story of Paco Torrent Guasp, the Spanish doctor who pierced themystery. His discovery was a revolution in heart medicine, and yet he struggled for years for his work to be recognized. Director Executive Producer Dani Resines Joan Úbeda
Contact Joan Úbeda +34 619 005 070 email@example.com Bettina Walter +34 635 352 271 firstname.lastname@example.org
Media 3.14 – Edifici IMAGINA - Gaspar Fàbregas 81 – 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Spain Tel +34 93 476 15 51 – Fax+34 93 476 15 52 –email@example.com
The Man Who Unfolded a Thousand Hearts– April 2007 – page 2
Synopsis For centuries, the human heart was a mystery to medical science. It was like a closed box: scientists understood what it does, but not how it really works. This film tells the amazing story of how a village doctor came to unravel the mystery. His discovery is a revolution for heartmedicine in the 21st century. Paco Torrent Guasp was a family doctor in Denia, a little town on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Since his student years, in the 1950s, he’d been obsessed with the idea of discovering the true structure of the heart. Paco wasn’t your typical scientist: he had no connection with universities or big research laboratories. He worked alone at home using rudimentary methods.By day he attended to his patients in the practice; by night he dissected cow hearts that he got from the local slaughterhouse and that he boiled in his very own kitchen. He went on with this slow and meticulous labor for 20 years. In 1973, he proved that the heart is made up of a single muscular band folded in a helical pattern. He called it the Myocardic Ventricular Band. He also proved that theheart pumps blood in and out by a twisting/untwisting movement of the band. These revolutionary ideas have been compared to Galileo’s assertion that the earth is round.
However, many of Paco’s Spanish colleagues rejected his theory –how could a doctor from a small town have solved such an mysterious puzzle? Far from giving up, Paco took his findings to the international medical community. Hewas pretty alone at the beginning but his ideas were gradually accepted by prestigious cardiologists from all over the world. Today, scientists from European, American and Japanese research centers follow his path - and the Myocardic Band appears in the most important anatomy textbooks. Torrent Guasp’s discovery is a paradigm shift that will have a profound and lasting impact on medicine. For thefirst time, doctors have a working map of the heart’s anatomy and physiology. Cardiology will no longer be an empirical science, based on trial and error, but a predictive one based on the intimate knowledge of the structure of the heart. Scientists are currently carrying out basic research experiments and measurements to expand the understanding of the heart under this new paradigm, but practicalapplications have been already derived that hint at the great advances that the MVB will allow, specially in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. In February 2005, Torrent Guasp was invited to speak at a cardiology congress in Madrid –the sign that his colleagues were at last accepting his ideas. Just as he finished his speech, his heart failed. Paco died of a heart attack, surrounded bycardiologists. His last words to his wife were: “This is only the beginning”.
Media 3.14 – Edifici IMAGINA - Gaspar Fàbregas 81 – 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Spain Tel +34 93 476 15 51 – Fax +34 93 476 15 52 –firstname.lastname@example.org
The Man Who Unfolded a Thousand Hearts– April 2007 – page 3
Treatment Torrent Guasp had a complex and multi-faceted personality: he was a doctor, but also a...