Obituary: Carlos “Carl” A. Schmidt

Carlos “Carl” A. Schmidt

May, 9, 1950 – Aug. 15, 2013

Longtime Breckenridge resident and cardiac surgeon Carlos “Carl” A Schmidt, age 63, passed away early in the morning on Aug. 15, 2013, in Breckenridge, Colo. Carl died of respiratory failure, a complication of a 13-year struggle with disabilities he suffered as a result of an arterial dissection of the brain. He fought long and hard to live a full life with his family.

Carl was born on May 9, 1950, to Arturo and Beatriz Schmidt in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He grew up in many countries as his father’s missionary travels took him all over the world, including Switzerland, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, United States and Germany. He went on to medical school at Buenos Aires National University and graduated with his Medical Doctorate in 1975. Upon graduation in 1975 Carl traveled to the African continent where he spent three years in Cameroon, Addis Ababa and other remote parts of the continent doing medical missionary work.

He then traveled to Loma Linda, Calif., to undertake a residency training in general and cardiac surgery. He completed this training in 1980 and 1984. During this time Carl met his wife, Janice, in the animal lab of the university where they were both participating in animal research projects. They married 18 months later.

Following completion of his residency training in 1984, Carl relocated to Houston, Texas, for a 12-month fellowship in aortic aneurysms and dissections with the Debakey and Crawford groups at Baylor University. He then returned to Loma Linda University in 1985 as a professor of surgery and went on to perform numerous surgical procedures and saved countless lives. He was at Loma Linda University for five years and he pioneered the minimally invasive bypass procedure/technique where surgery was done while the heart was still beating and with a small incision being used to access the heart thus lowering the risk for the patient. Carl holds two patents in his name for surgical instruments that he invented and developed. He traveled with Loma Linda University and the Heart Team to China, Argentina, Chile, France, Spain and Italy just to name a few, to perform surgical procedures on high-risk patients and to train and teach others some of his techniques.

In 1990 Carl’s first daughter, Sabrina, was born. That same year he moved into a private practice with another colleague in Upland, Calif. He was there for three years and his second daughter, Roxanna, was born in 1993. He relocated his practice to Provo, Utah, in 1993 and spent three years there in a private practice before moving to Denver. He joined the practice with Drs. Walker, Brants. For the next five years he worked at St. Anthony Central Hospital and Lutheran Medical Center. Carl had a tremendous passion for medicine! He enjoyed the challenge of a difficult surgery and his successes were numerous.

In December 2000 Carl was forced to retire due to a disability from a dissection of arteries in his brain. He spent the remaining 13-plus years of his life at home, helping to nurture and raise his beautiful daughters. He was a cyclist and bicycle racer for many years. He competed numerous times in the Casper Classic, Mammoth classic and Death Valley Mt. Whitney cycling classic races. In 2000 he competed in the Denver-Aspen bicycle race and won the event. Even after his disability he could be seen on the bike trails in Summit County on his three wheel custom recumbent Windcheetah bicycle. He loved to tinker with cars, ski, participate in bicycle races with the United States Cycling Federation (USCF) and was a registered category 3 veteran with the USCF for 15 years.

Carlos was loved by his family, friends, patients, colleagues and the community. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Janice, and their two daughters Sabrina and Roxanna; sister Lisie, her husband, Hernando, and their two children, Carina and Allessandro; brother Roy, his wife, Cindy, and their two boys, Justin and Nicholas; along with numerous cousins, aunts and uncles and extended family all over North and South America.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at 10 a.m., to be held at 4212 Highway 9, Breckenridge, Colorado 80424. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation, c/o Deb Edwards. Gifts may be mailed to SASMC HF, PO Box 738, Frisco, CO 80443, or made online at

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