History of William Castle DeVries, Utah

William DeVries was born December 19, 1943 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. His father, a Dutch immigrant who served as a surgeon during World War II, died during combat on the navy destroyer USS Kalk in 1944. William was only six months old being raised by his grandmother and mother until age five. After his mother remarried, the now much enlarged family moved to Ogden, Utah where he excelled both sports and accademics which lead to a scholarship at the University of Utah. In 1970 he graduated from medical school with an M.D. degree.

In 1982 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Dr. William DeVries, MD replaced the failing heart of Seattle dentist Barney Clark with the Jarvik 7 artificial and experimental heart. Dr. Clark knew of the risks and did not expect to live more than a few days but "hoped that what the doctors learned might help save the lives of others someday." Dr. Clark lived 112 days with the artificial heart.

DeVries later performed othe implantation at the Humana Human Heart Institute International in Louisville, Kentucky. These patients also suffered setbacks. However, the second transplant patient survived 620 days. Forty-nine Jarvik 7 hearts were implanted by other surgeons throughout the world. Dr. DeVries himself, had performed four replacement operations when in January 1990 the FDA withdrew its approval of the Jarvik-7.

G. William Wiersdorf

Wikipedia, William Castle DeVries; Your Dictionary, Biography; Jarvik Heart, The First Jarvik 7

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