May 6, 1953
Dr. John Gibbon
A heart-lung machine designed by Dr. John Gibbon is used in a successful open-heart surgery, demonstrating that an artificial device can temporarily mimic the functions of the heart.
Nov. 23, 1964
Dr. Michael E. DeBakey of Houston performs the first successful coronary artery bypass graft procedure.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute sets a goal of designing a total artificial heart by 1970.
Heart implant surgery
DeBakey successfully implants a partial artificial heart.
Dec. 3, 1967
Dr. Christiaan Barnard
Dr. Christiaan Barnard performs the first successful human heart transplant. The patient, 53-year-old dentist Louis Washkansky, dies 18 days after surgery in South Africa.
May 3, 1968
Dr. Denton Cooley of the Texas Heart Institute performs the first heart transplant in the United States at St. Luke's Hospital in Houston. The patient, Everett Thomas, lives for 204 days with the heart donated from a 15-year-old girl.
Aug. 3, 1968
DeBakey performs the first simultaneous multi-organ transplant, removing two kidneys, one lung and the heart from one donor and transferring them into four patients.
April 3, 1969
Dr. Denton Cooley
Cooley implants a total artificial heart into a 2-month-old patient. Three days later, the patient receives a heart transplant, but dies of respiratory insufficiency only 14 hours later.
Drs. Norman Shumway and Bruce Reitz perform the first successful heart-lung transplant at Stanford University.
Dec. 2, 1982
Dr. William De Vries carries out a series of five implants of the Jarvik total artificial heart during the next three years. The first patient, Barney Clark, survives for 112 days. Only four others received the Jarvik as a permanent replacement heart; one, William Schroeder, lived 620 days, dying in August 1986 at age 54. Other patients received the Jarvik as a temporary device while awaiting heart transplants.
Oct. 24, 1984
Baby Fae
Dr. Leonard L. Bailey replaces the failing heart of Baby Fae with that of a baboon's at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. Although the infant dies 21 days later of organ failure, doctors discover she did not reject the heart.
Nov. 20, 1985
Baby Fae's doctors successfully perform a human-to-human heart transplant on a 4-day-old infant, Baby Moses.
Oct. 3, 1994
Doctors show the Ventricular Assist Device
The Food and Drug Admini-stration approves the Left Ventricular Assist Device, which helps failing hearts continue to function.
April 4, 2000
Sarah McLaurin, 48, receives the 800th heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center.
Aug. 1, 2000
Jarvik 2000
A man in Israel becomes the first recipient of the Jarvik 2000, the first total artificial heart that can maintain blood flow in addition to generating a pulse.
Dr. Michael V. Sefton is trying to create an artificial human heart using human cells.
July 2, 2001
Doctors at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., implant the first self-contained, mechanical heart replacement into 59-year-old Robert Tools. The device, called the AbioCor, is battery powered and the size of a softball. Tools dies almost five months later from multiple organ failure.