William DeVries


William Castle DeVries (born December 19, 1943) is an American cardiothoracic surgeon, mainly known for the first transplant of a TAH (total artificial heart) using the Jarvik-7 model. ==Early years and Medical School== William DeVries was born December 19, 1943 in Brooklyn Navy Yard.


His father, Henry DeVries, was a Dutch immigrant who died in combat on the destroyer in 1944 during the Battle of Hollandia, where he had enrolled as a naval surgeon.


He graduated in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in molecular and Genetic biology.


He assisted doctor Willem Johan Kolff during his work and during night he was paid to watch over the animals in the lab. In 1969 after some advice from doctor Keith Reemtsma, he decided to leave Salt Lake City and to start his residency in another hospital.


degree in 1970. By the time he had finished with school, he had already built a family.


At the end of his nine years surgical training, he headed back to Salt Lake City. ==The artificial heart== In 1979 Doctor DeVries went back to the University of Utah to become the chairman of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery; there, he used to perform two to five open-heart operations a week.


In 1982, the FDA gave the approval to experiment the device on a human, and so a panel of six members at the University of Utah Medical Center started searching for a patient.

The seven-hour surgery was carried out in December 2, 1982, and it was successful.

Since 1982, 350 patients have used the Jarvik-7 heart model, and its original design is still used for the modern Jarvik-7, although due to propriety passages the device name is now "SynCardia".


DeVries refused to shut down the device, this caught the attention of the media, and made DeVries achieve the cover of Time magazine (December 10, 1984).


In January 1988 DeVries was close to performing his fifth implantation, when a human donor heart was found for the patient.

Before his retirement, in 1999, doctor DeVries decided, in 1988, to go back to traditional cardiovascular surgery.


In January 1990 the approval was withdrawn, and the FDA ended the program.


Before his retirement, in 1999, doctor DeVries decided, in 1988, to go back to traditional cardiovascular surgery.


On December 29, 2000, he joined the United States Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel, becoming at age 57 one of the oldest people to enter and complete the Officer Basic Course.


On October 2004, the Jarvik-7 model was the first medical device to receive a full-FDA approval. ==In Louisville, Kentucky== After the offer from Wendell Cherry, DeVries decided to move to Louisville in order to continue with his work on the TAH although he knew that the reason why the Humana Inc.

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