1963: West Wing Expansion

Almost overnight, The Methodist Hospital emerges as a leading institution in the Texas Medical Center. Even after the Main Building is completed, administrators are forced to turn away patients on a daily basis. They decide to commission a new wing that will double the hospital’s capacity to 800 beds. The new West Wing opens in 1963 and is operating at 94.7% within one year, reinforcing the need to continue expanding.

1963: First Kidney Transplant in Texas

Two surgeons, Dr. Russell Scott Jr. and Dr. George C. Morris Jr.,perform the first kidney transplant in Texas after enormous planning efforts. Prior to the operation, the surgical team visits centers specializing in organ transplantation and appoints a large scientific selection committee. The study of kidneys comes into its own at this time and surgeries like this represent a leap forward in kidney medicine overall. The administration at Methodist aggressively seeks to build the kidney program, knowing how many lives it could potentially save.

1964: Cardiovascular and Orthopedic Research Center

Ambitious philanthropists Ella Fondren and George R. Brown create the Cardiovascular and Orthopedic Research Center. The $8.5 million Fondren-Brown Cardiovascular and Orthopedic Research Center is borne of Fondren’s vision for a clinical research facility to advance the treatment of birth deformities, crippling injuries and orthopedic procedures, and Brown’s vision for a cardiovascular center for research and clinical care related to the heart and blood vessels, kidney disorders, hypertension and stroke. The center is outfitted with special facilities to support myriad organ transplantation programs and laboratories designed to facilitate the creation of the mechanical heart.In addition to the Fondren Foundation’s and the Brown Foundation’s gift, the building received contributions from Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Brown and the DeBakey Foundation, as well as $1,960,000 from the National Institutes of Health.

1968: The First Multi-Organ Transplant

The operation requires five surgical teams comprised of 70 doctors, nurses and technicians to transplant the heart, lungs and kidneys of one donor into four men. The transplants are made possible by a program that seeks to utilize as many organs as possible from individual donors. This operation is Methodist’s and Dr. Michael E. DeBakey’s first heart transplant. The lung transplant is the first in Houston and sixth in the world. The kidney transplants are the 19th and 20th performed at Methodist.