1950, The World First Kidney Transplant
On this day on June 17, 1950, The world first kidney transplant was performed on Ruth Tucker, a 44-year-old woman with polycystic kidney disease, by Dr. Richard Lawler at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Although the donated kidney was rejected ten months later because no immunosuppressive therapy was available at the time—the development of effective antirejection drugs was years away—the intervening time gave Tucker’s remaining kidney time to recover and she lived another five years.
After 5 weeks of waiting at the hospital for a suitable kidney, Tucker finally received one from a patient who had died of cirrhosis of the liver. A kidney transplant between living patients was undertaken in 1952 at the Necker hospital in Paris by Jean Hamburger, although the kidney failed after 3 weeks.
On December 23, 1954, at Brigham Hospital, a successful transplant performed by Joseph Murray, J. Hartwell Harrison, John P. Merrill, and others. Kidney transplantation is the organ transplant of a kidney into a patient with end-stage kidney disease.
In 2014 the record for the largest chain was broken again by a swap involving 70 participants.