Monday, May 20, 2024

Who is Dr. Victor Chang? Why is He So Popular?

Born on 21st November 1936, Victor Peter Chang aka Dr. Victor Chang was a heart surgeon. He is renowned all over the world for his groundbreaking research. He is a Chinese man whose roots are in Australia. His revolutionary approach toward modern heart transplants paved the way to cheaper, efficient transplants. The world regards Dr Chang as a trailblazer in cardiovascular surgery and transplantation.

What was his major contribution?

Dr Victor Chang contributed greatly to the field of cardiology. His most popular contribution was the artificial heart valve and the artificial heart assist device. Chang was insecure about the shortage of organ donors which gave him the idea. He led the team of engineers, scientists and marketing specialists to work on his invention. The artificial heart and cheaper heart valves facilitated global accessibility on the whole. It became more affordable and efficient in saving lives. One such example is the heart transplant on a 14 year old girl named Fiona Coote. Chang operated on her in 1984. She became the youngest Australian to make it through the surgery. She lived a normal life and effortlessly lived healthily even after 38 years from the date of surgery.

Chang’s educational background

Dr Chang grew up in Hong Kong. He finished his primary schooling in Kowloon Tong. He attended 2 years of college at St. Paul’s. After Chang’s father sent him to Sydney in 1951, he attended Belmore Boys’ High School. He finished his secondary education at Christian Brothers’ High School and his tertiary education at Sydney University. He graduated from college with a first-class honors in Bachelor of Medical Science and for Medicine and Surgery.

What was his medical career?

Dr. Victor Chang took an internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital upon graduation. He started collecting funds there to perform a heart transplant surgery. After the success of surgery on Fiona Coote, many heart transplants took place between 1984 and 1990. Dr. Victor Chang and his unit did these transplants.

Chang was offered a fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons in 1966. He had his training in cardiothoracic surgery from Royal Brompton College. The doctor was chief resident at the Mayo Clinic, US, for a couple of years. He returned to St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1972 as a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon. He became a Fellow for the Royal Australian College of Surgeons in 1973 and the American College of Surgeons in 1975.

Other Contributions and Accolades

Dr. Victor Chang helped to lay the foundation of the National Cardiac Transplant Unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital. The Australian government appointed him as the Companion of the Order of Australia for his contribution to strengthening international relations between Australia and China and also, medicine.

The first successful heart transplant in Australia was by Dr. Victor Chang himself. Harry Windsor was another surgeon who worked with Chang in the very transplant in 1968.

Dr Victor Chang worked for Shiley Laboratories in Singapore. He met Frank Tamru, a marketing and sales specialist in 1980. When engineers Richard Martin and Brij Gupta collaborated with the duo, the four founded the Pacific Biomedical Enterprises Ltd. It has its headquarters in Singapore. The St. Vincent’s Heart Valves spread soon throughout Asia.

An Untimely Death and Memoriam

Doctor Victor Chang met with a fatal incident on the morning of 4th July 1991. Two Malaysians, Ah Sung and Philip, approached Chang by crashing their car against his Mercedes. They shot him dead after a heated argument with Chang, who refused to give money. The first shot was at his right cheek, and the second lethal one was shot from point-blank range. Ah, Sung was the one who fired the shots. The two were initially suspected to be from a group of Triads. Afterward, some investigations revealed them to be minimal criminals looking to extort money.

The doctor was given a state funeral. He was cremated, and his ashes lay buried in a memorial at Green Park, Darlinghurst, opposite St. Vincent’s Hospital. Dr. Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute describes his reason for death as a tragic circumstance. The groundbreaking research by Dr. Victor Chang still has blueprints for the technologies studied today. Dr. Chang’s legacy continues forever. He shall be remembered and revered throughout history for his efforts and contributions to humanity’s cause.

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Govind Kashyap
Govind Kashyap
Govind Kashyap is a passionate writer with a keen interest in lifestyle, fashion, and health topics. With a knack for storytelling and attention to detail, Govind brings a unique perspective to every piece of content.

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