July 9

July 9, 1893  Dr. Daniel Hale Williams Performs The First Open Heart Surgery

Daniel Hale Williams

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams c. 1900

On July 9, 1893, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open heart surgery. Dr. Williams founded Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses in Chicago, Illinois on May 4, 1891, the nations first interracial hospital and nursing school.  Two years later on July 9, 1893, James Cornish was admitted to to the hospital after being stabbed in the chest.  Dr. Williams performed the first successful open heart surgery on Cornish.  Dr. Williams repaired a severed artery and a gash in the pericardium, the sac that encloses the heart.   James Cornish was released from the hospital 51 days after surgery and lived for decades after the incident.   Dr. Williams was born on January 18, 1856 in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and died on August 4, 1931 in Idlewild, Michigan at age 75.