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First Open-Heart Surgery

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was one of the few African-American surgeons of the early 1890s. He performed the first successful open-heart surgery at Provident Hospital in Chicago in 1893. James Cornish arrived at Provident with a stab wound to the chest on July 9. Dr. Williams' training and instincts led him to the unprecedented and experimental surgery of cracking open the chest and sewing up a gash in the sac around the heart. Cornish not only survived but outlived Dr. Williams.

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