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Dr. Victor Chang: Google Doodle celebrates heart surgeon

Google honors Chinese-Australian physician Victor Chang for his pioneering work in heart transplantation with a Doodle on his birthday.

Google paid tribute to the legacy of the pioneering Chinese-Australian physician Victor Chang on what would have been his birthday with a special Doodle. The Doodle featured an animated pulse rate in the background, honoring Chang's groundbreaking work in contemporary heart transplantation.

Chang is renowned as a trailblazer in cardiovascular surgery and transplantation. One of his most significant contributions to cardiology was the development of an artificial heart valve and an artificial heart assist device, both of which have been instrumental in treating serious cardiac conditions worldwide.

Notably, Chang's artificial heart valve was more affordable than previous models, making it more accessible for life-saving treatments globally. In 1984, he led a team of surgeons in successfully performing a heart transplant on 14-year-old Fiona Coote, who went on to become Australia's youngest heart transplant survivor, living a healthy life 38 years after her surgery.

Chang's impact on the field of medicine was also evident in his establishment of the National Heart Transplant Program at St Vincent's Hospital in 1984, which continues to operate to this day. Despite his tragic death in 1991 due to a failed extortion attempt, Chang's contributions to medicine have been widely recognized in Australia.

In honor of his legacy, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute was founded in 1994, dedicated to finding remedies, preventive measures, and diagnostic tools for cardiovascular diseases. Chang's dedication to research and sharing knowledge was evident throughout his career, as he believed in the potential to save thousands of lives through research, in addition to his surgical expertise.

Chang's impact extended beyond Australia, as he traveled the world to study and practice, receiving cardiothoracic surgical training at the Mayo Clinic and in the United Kingdom. He also worked alongside Dr. Harry Windsor and Dr. Mark Shanahan, who performed Australia's first heart transplant in 1968.

In response to the Google Doodle honoring her father, Vanessa Chang emphasized his belief in sharing knowledge and expertise as a measure of true success in life. Chang's impact on the medical community and the general population continues to be felt, as his legacy lives on through the ongoing work of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

In his lifetime, Chang and his team conducted 266 heart transplants, 22 heart-lung transplants, and six single lung transplants. His dedication to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine has left a lasting impact on the world.

Chang's wife was Ann Simmons, who supported him in his endeavors and shared in his commitment to improving the field of medicine.

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