Daniel H Williams Biography

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Daniel H Williams Connie Orozco Itt-Tech Daniel Hale Williams III was as physician who performed the first open-heart surgery and also founded a hospital with an interracial staff. Dr. Williams was born on January 18, 1856 in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, to Sara Price Williams and Daniel Hale Williams II. Dr. Williams III was the fifth born of seven children. “After the passing of his father Daniel Hale Williams II at the age of 75, his mother Sara moved the family several times and 10 year old Daniel was sent to live with family and friends in Baltimore, Maryland, where he became a shoemaker’s apprentice.”(Daniel Hale Williams III. (2014) The Biography.com website) Daniel then returned to live with his family in Illinois to continue his education; He then began to work as apprentice for Dr. Henry Palmer who was a highly accomplished surgeon. Dr. Williams III then completed his training at Chicago Medical College and went on to setup his own practice on the Southside of Chicago where he taught anatomy. Due to the discrimination at that time all African-Americans were barred from hospitals and black physicians were refused to any staff positions. Believing this needed to change; Dr. Williams III opened Provident Hospital and training school for nurses in May 1891. According to the Chicago Tribune “ In 1983, Dr. Williams III continued to make history when he operated on James Cornish, a man with a severe stab wound to his chest. Without any benefits of blood transfusions or modern surgical procedures, Dr. Williams successfully sutured Cornish’s pericardium (The membranous sac enclosing the heart), Becoming the first person to perform open-heart surgery.” (Chicago Tribune, 1983

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