Historic, First-Ever Kidney Transplant Took Place in Boston, Massachusetts, 70 Years Ago
Perhaps nothing baffles me more than how far science and technology have advanced in the past century.
I think about cell phones first, because those are used daily. Cell phones were not really common until the early 2000s. iPhones did not come into the picture until 2007. Now, we ALL have a portable computer, instant communication, and unlimited access to tracking our loved ones right in our pockets.
Scientific and medical advancements also blow my mind. The things we are capable of doing to remedy even the most complex injuries are incredible.
Take, for example, organ donors. Today, a kidney transplant is relatively common in the medical field. But it was not always that way.
Did you know the first-ever successful human kidney transplant took place in Boston, Massachusetts, over 70 years ago?
And the story behind the transplant between two brothers is incredibly wholesome.
According to the Center for the History of Medicine,
On December 23, 1954, Murray performed the first successful human organ transplantation, between identical twins, Ronald (donor) and Richard (recipient) Herrick. Richard was dying of kidney disease and had been referred to Murray as a possible transplant case.
The twins needed to complete 17 tests to confirm that they were identical, including fingerprinting and more.
There were so many risks, and astonishingly, this was the first record of a completely healthy human being offering to risk their own healthy life to potentially save another, according to the Center for the History of Medicine.
I mean, they were brothers. They looked out for one another.
The medical team met with both sides of the twins many times, because there was no way of knowing for certain if the operation would work. It seemed like a toss-up that the medical staff was neither for nor against.
After deliberating and weighing out both pros and cons, the corporation for the first-ever human kidney transplant took place in Boston, Massachusetts.
"The transplant was a success, and Richard Herrick went on to marry one of his nurses from the Brigham and have two children," according to the Center for the History of Medicine. "He survived until 1962, dying of a recurrence of the kidney disease. Ronald Herrick died in 2010 at 79."
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