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Google Doodle pays tribute to Chinese Australian surgeon Dr Victor Chang on his birth anniversary

Today’s Google Doodle honours Chinese Australian surgeon Dr. Victor Chang on his birth anniversary. He is renowned as a pioneer of cardiac and transplant surgery. 

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Early life

Dr. Chang was born in the year 1936 on November 21. Dr. Chang’s connection with the medical field can be attributed to life circumstances that made him develop his interest in the field at a very young age. His desire to explore the field surfaced when his mother developed breast cancer.

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Dr. Chang studied medicine and surgery at the University of Sydney. He began his residency training at St. Vincent’s Hospital and worked at several hospitals around the world. In 1972, he returned to Australia and became a cardiothoracic surgeon at Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital.

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Dr. Chang is renowned for the development of St. Vincent’s artificial heart valve and for various other contributions to medicine. The artificial heart valve developed by Dr. Chang was significantly cheaper than previous models. This made it it globally accessible for use in lifesaving procedures.

In 1984, Dr. Chang performed a successful heart transplant on the youngest Australian patient, Fiona Coote, who was 14 years old at the time of surgery. Coote received another heart transplant two years later. Currently, she is the longest-surviving heart transplant recipient in Australia.

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Dr. Chang’s medical advancements were also honoured with various accolades which serve as a testament to his impactful innovations. In 1999, Dr. Chang was nominated for the Australian of the Century at the People’s Choice Awards. He also received Australia’s highest honour, the ‘Companion of the Order of Australia,’ in 1986.

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Dr. Chang strived to improve global healthcare and was passionate about sharing knowledge and skills. In 1984, he established the Victor Chang Foundation. To bring surgeons to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney and train them in advanced cardiac surgery , the Foundation awards grants to educate Southeast Asian surgeons, especially for heart transplantation. Programs that explore innovation in cardiac surgery also receive grants.

To honour Dr. Chang’s legacy, the Research Institute was founded in 1994 and named after him. The institute remains dedicated to finding cures, prevention, and diagnostic tools for cardiovascular disease. 

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Updated: 21 Nov 2023, 06:54 AM IST

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