Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Thirty-year throwback: The first heart transplant in Oregon

We recently provided images for OHSU communications staff as they prepared to celebrate a significant anniversary: thirty years ago, on December 4, 1985, the first successful heart transplant surgery in Oregon was performed at OHSU. The surgery, performed by Dr. Albert Starr, provided a 44-year old chronic congestive heart failure patient with a new future.

Albert Starr and team perform the first heart transplant procedure in Oregon, Dec. 4, 1985.
While we don't yet have as many images from the 1980s in our collections as from earlier decades (many photographs may still be in staff offices around campus!), we have a nice selection of images from the procedure and subsequent press conference.
The team on Dec. 4, 1985.
Heart transplant news conference
To read more on the event, check out this OHSU blog post. I was also struck by this piece, which appeared in the Skanner last year, about one often-overlooked contributor to Oregon's first heart transplant: "Special Event Honors Oregon's First Heart Donor". The story on how this family finds solace and purpose in the legacy of the donation in the face of a painful loss is definitely worth a read. 

A life-saving donation

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