17 June-First Successful Organ Transplant

The first successful human organ transplant in the world was performed at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago, Illinois in June 1950. On that occasion Dr Richard Lawlor, a surgeon at the hospital, performed a kidney transplant on a 44 year old woman called Ruth Tucker. The woman had polycystic kidney disease. As a result one of her kidneys had ceased to function. The other kidney functioned at only at 10 percent.

Ruth Tucker’s mother and sister had died of polycystic kidney disease and Ruth herself was seriously ill. At the time dialysis was not available. A decision to perform a kidney transplant was made by the patient, the doctor and the hospital.

Ruth Tucker had been in hospital for five weeks when a healthy kidney became available from a lady who had died of liver disease. Having removed the kidney from the 49 year old woman who had died it took Dr Lawlor just an hour and a half to replace Ms Tucker’s left kidney. The operation was filmed and was also observed in the hospital by a large number of people.

The operation took place prior to the development of tissue typing and immunosuppressant drugs. The transplant worked and Ruth Tucker left hospital a month later. The kidney began to fail within a year and was rejected by her body’s immune system. However it had worked long enough to allow her other kidney to recover somewhat. Ruth Tucker lived for another five years. She died in 1955 of coronary artery disease.

The first successful human organ transplant in history took place when Ruth Tucker given a donor kidney at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago, Illinois in the year 1950 On This Day.

Scar by aturkus on 2006-11-17 12:03:00


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