Dr. Samuel Lee Kountz Invented Kidney Transplant
Dr Samuel Lee Kountz was the person behind kidney transplant. This singular act of his has gone a long way in advancing human lives and making the field of medicine an enviable one.
Born in 1930 in Arkansas, United States, Samuel was a scholar and was able to garner three professional diplomas in mechanical, chemical and agricultural engineering. It’s on record that he was the first black person to ever attend the University of Arkansas Medical school. He got this through a scholarship.
After completing a PhD study in medical science, Samuel moved to San Francisco to enroll in a medical surgery program. In the course of his study, he met a great guy, Dr. Cohn (also considered as a pioneer in organ transplant). In 1964, these two guys carried out a successful organ transplant and it was considered among the first that was ever done by man.
Without relenting, Dr. Samuel went further in his research and soon after he made a huge breakthrough that will forever remembered in the history of mankind. He discovered methylprednisolone, a steroid that helped boost the acceptance of organ transplant. Before this achievement, the death rate in organ transplant was so high (more than 95%) and most people consider it as good as dead.
While still working to get optimum results, Dr Samuel discovered that re-implanting a kidney back to a donor after a rejection from a recipient helps in improving vital prognosis. Dr. Samuel also developed a sophisticated technique that helps to store the kidney for more than 50 hours after plucking it out of the donor.
With the discovery made by Dr. Samuel Kountz, it is now possible to transplant kidney from a non-member of the patient’s family. Before his death, he was able to perform about five hundred kidney transplants.
People were so scared of organ transplant, but Dr. Samuel did his best to erase any element of fear surrounding the process. For this reason, he did a transplant on live television just so people could see the process and understand that there’s nothing to be scared of. After successfully doing it, he got a staggering twenty thousand donations.
All these achievements brought him to limelight, and later became a professor and top surgeon in world class hospitals in America. He worked as a senior surgeon in Kings County Hospital, New York and helped to improve the lives of black people health-wise.
Dr. Samuel Kountz established one of the biggest kidney transplant research centers in San Francisco, and published more than hundred research papers on kidney transplant.
In 1977 Dr. Samuel visited South Africa and unfortunately for him, he suffered a neurological illness that affected him both physically and mentally. He was bedridden for 3 years until death came knocking in 1981.
Without doubt, Dr. Samuel’s research and contributions to the field of science and medicine is still saving lives as we speak. It is in order to say he’s the one behind the great revolution in the field of organ transplant. Most people are no longer afraid of organ transplant, thanks to Samuel’s discovery of steroids in the transplanting process.
He bagged quite a number of awards and a scholarship body for African American, NAACP, was named after him. The scholarship is dedicated to bettering the lives of the black people in the United States.
The achievement of Dr. Lee is a great one that has saved countless numbers of lives over the years. No doubt, medical sciences will continue to impact human lives and I think they deserve more accolades from the public.
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