More than 400 people, including 120 heart transplant recipients, gathered at the Museum of Science and Industry in late February to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first successful human heart transplant. The gala was was sponsored by the University of Chicago Medicine’s Heart and Vascular Center and featured the history of the first heart transplant, a look at the innovative technology developed since, and an inspirational patient story.
Mark Morrison struggled with Type 1 diabetes for forty years. Eventually his blood sugar swings came on without warning and the disease became life threatening. Morrison underwent pancreatic islet transplantation — a procedure that transplants insulin-producing islets from a deceased donor into the recipient’s liver. Today, Morrison no longer needs insulin injections