UMMC commemorates 50th anniversary of lung transplant - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

UMMC commemorates 50th anniversary of lung transplant

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June 11, 1963, amid many critics, Dr. James Hardy boldly made the decision to transplant a human lung into a human being.  (Source: National Film Preservation Foundation) June 11, 1963, amid many critics, Dr. James Hardy boldly made the decision to transplant a human lung into a human being. (Source: National Film Preservation Foundation)
Dr. James Hardy (Source: University of Mississippi Medical Center) Dr. James Hardy (Source: University of Mississippi Medical Center)
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

June 11, 1963, amid many critics, Dr. James Hardy boldly made the decision to transplant a human lung into a human being.

Hardy filmed many of his surgeries to use for teaching, and the world's first lung transplant reel was the first to be restored. The University of Mississippi Medical Center shared a portion of it with WLBT.

Dr. Hardy knew the significance of the transplant, but at the time he kept a tight rein on his plans.

Joyce Caracci was Hardy's operating room supervisor during the operation.

"The staff didn't know it was a first. I guess he didn't want us to know," Hardy said.

It was indeed a very meticulous and well thought out surgery, according to UMMC's current surgery chief, Dr. Marc Mitchell.

"That was a major, major feat. It's actually more difficult to do a lung transplant than a heart transplant so it was interesting he did the first lung transplant before he did the first heart transplant," Dr. Mitchell said.

The surgery was an undeniable success, according to Dr. Mitchell, even though the patient died 19 days later.

"The transplant worked. The patient died of kidney failure. He didn't die of lung failure," Mitchell said.

It marked a continued work of brilliance in the operating room by Dr. Hardy throughout his career.

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