Thursday, October 23, 2014
Doctor Daniel Hale Williams 1st person to successfully complete open heart surgery.
African American Doctor Daniel Hale Williams is credited with having performed open heart surgery on July 9, 1893 before such surgeries were established. He performed this surgery, without the benefit of penicillin or blood transfusion, at Provident Hospital, Chicago, on 10 July 1893, though it would not be reported until 1897. About 55 days later, James Cornish had successfully recovered from the surgery. At the time that he graduated from medical school, black doctors were not allowed to work in Chicago hospitals. As a result, in 1891, Williams started the Provident Hospital (Chicago) and training school for nurses in Chicago, Illinois. This was established mostly for African-American citizens. In 1893, during the administration of President Grover Cleveland, Williams was appointed surgeon-in-chief of Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C., a post he held until 1898 when he married and moved to Chicago. In addition to organizing the hospital, Williams also established a training school for African-American nurses at the facility. In 1913, Daniel Hale Williams was the only African American member of the American College of Surgeons.