Dr. Norman Shumway (widely regarded as the father of heart transplantation) performed the first adult heart transplant in the United States on January 6, 1968, at the Stanford University Hospital. This was a landmark first operation which attracted worldwide media attention. There were journalists climbing the walls of the hospital to try to get a peek into the operating room. The recipient, 54 year old steel worker Mike Kasperak, lived for 14 days after the surgery.

Years later, Dr. Shumway said of the transplant: “We put in the heart and nothing happened. There were slow waves on the EKG and then the heart began beating stronger and then exuberance…. We knew we would be okay.”

But, to gain some insight into Dr. Shumway, please now note that he was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He received his M.D. from Vanderbilt in 1949. In 1958, he began working as an instructor in surgery at Stanford Hospital in San Francisco, California, and later, in Palo Alto when the hospital was moved. He spent many years training promising young residents of cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University. Lastly, he died of lung cancer in Palo Alto in 2006, on the day after his 83rd birthday.

More Info: en.wikipedia.org