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Web exhibit shows first kidney transplant

by Brooke Fox
University archivist
The Waring Historical Library and MUSC Archives announces the opening of a new Web exhibit titled, “Overcoming the Rejection Factor: MUSC’s First Organ Transplant.” The exhibit opened Dec. 3 and can be viewed at
Forty years ago, on Dec. 3, 1968, the Medical College of South Carolina (now MUSC) performed the first major organ transplant in its history and the first in  South Carolina. The kidney transplant was performed by a team of doctors who, in the years and months preceding the operation, developed an innovative procedure that addressed the body’s acceptance or rejection of foreign matter. The online exhibit tells the story of this extraordinary event through oral history interviews and archival records.
As part of the celebration of this anniversary, staff of the MUSC University Archives, a subunit of the Waring Historical Library, collected oral history interviews from the surviving members of the surgical team as well as from family members of the kidney recipient and donor. Drawing heavily from these collected interviews as well as the records of the MUSC University Archives, this exhibit documents the pre-operative research, the surgery, and evolution of the transplant program at MUSC. We hope that online visitors will come away with an appreciation of the significance of the operation and of the many contributions made by physicians, researchers, nurses, lab technicians, and support staff.
In addition to this online exhibit, there will be a celebration of the anniversary on Jan. 29, 2009 at MUSC. This celebration will include a roundtable discussion with the surviving surgical team members and reception.
This exhibit and celebration is a collaborative project of the Waring Historical Library, the MUSC Department of Surgery, the MUSC Transplant Center, and the Charleston County Medi-cal Society.
For more information about the Web exhibit or the commemorative event in January, e-mail 
To view other Web exhibits presented by the Waring Historical Library, visit

Friday, Dec. 5, 2008

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