Health Heroes

Dr. Norman Shumway

by Olivia from Mission Viejo

Portrait of Dr. Norman Shumway ( (Standford))
Portrait of Dr. Norman Shumway ( (Standford))

"Every five seconds counts." ~ Norman Shumway. In the mist of the surgical room he was seen. He was seen doing surgery. His name is Norman Shumway. I was looking into heart surgery and then his name popped up. He was the first surgeon to do heart surgery. He saved many lives and still to this day surgeons use his technique to save lives today. I am only a high school student I find this very impressive. I would love to one day become a surgeon and one day maybe make up something as spectacular as this.

"If it looks complex, it's not right." ~Norman Shumway. According to the Occupational Handbook Website, a surgeon has many tasks. "Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. "Take a patient's medical history "Update charts and patient information to show current findings and treatments Order tests for nurses or other healthcare staff to Review test results to identify any abnormal findings. Recommend and design a plan of treatment Address concerns or answer questions that patients have about their health and well-being Help patients take care of their health by discussing topics such as proper nutrition and hygiene" These tasks take time to learn that is why these people in the medical field must intern so they can learn the ways of a doctor. "Physicians and surgeons: This wage is equal to or greater than $187,200 per year." So this means that these doctors get at least that much money which means they can grow in their money making. Some similar occupations are Chiropractors, Dentists, Nurses Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners.

As a young person Norman went to the college Stanford University and he had much in store for himself. He was a very intelligent man; in fact, he created the first version of a heart transplant. Of course there have been some changes to it but he was the one who created the idea. During the process of the surgery there were many failed attempts. "The landmark operation created a burst of enthusiasm for heart transplantation, though cardiac surgeons quickly lost interest because of the high rate of post-surgical deaths." He had the first successful one after a long time of trials in 1968. "Shumway, professor emeritus of cardiothoracic surgery, performed the first successful human heart transplant in the United States in 1968 at Stanford. The recipient, 54-year-old steel worker Mike Kasperak, lived for 14 days." He is no longer doing heart surgery due to him dying but his technique still lives on. He died at the age 83 from cancer on February 10, 2006.

Norman has benefited the world by giving people and their hearts a second chance. They are able to either get a new heart or fix what is wrong with their normal heart. "He did his residency at the University of Minnesota under Walt Lillehei[1]alongside future fellow transplantation pioneer Christiaan Barnard, and was awarded a surgical doctorate in 1956. In 1958, he began working as an instructor in surgery at Stanford Hospital in San Francisco, California, and later, in Palo Alto when the hospital was moved."

In High school I hope to be good at math and science so that when I choose to fallow my dream of becoming a doctor like Norman did, that I will be able to do so. In high school I also am going to be doing surgical tech. So I will know how it feels to be in on the surgeries. In college I plan on going to a college that offers surgery. When I grow up my life time plans are that I want to be a cardio thoracic surgeon so that is my life goal.

Page created on 6/10/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/10/2016 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.