Today’s Google Doodle, November 21, 2023, celebrates the day of the birth of Dr. Victor Chang, a Chinese cardiothoracic surgeon who later became a naturalized Australian who achieved important milestones in open heart surgery. The Doodle illustration is created by Australian artist Lucy Pescott. Born in Shanghai in 1936, Chang undertook medical studies at the University of Sydney and completed his residency in cardiac surgery in the United States.
Killed in an extortion attempt
Between 1984 and 1990, the team led by Chang successfully performed more than 197 heart transplants and 14 heart-lung transplants. The unit has seen a remarkable success rate, with 90% of transplant patients continuing to survive beyond the first year. In 1986, in recognition of his contribution to international relations between Australia and China and the advancement of medical science, Victor Chang was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). Chang ended his career prematurely on 4 July 1991, aged just 54, when he was tragically shot and killed in one of the most notorious murders in Australian history following an extortion attempt. Following his passing, he was given a state funeral and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and the Victor Chang Lowy Packer Building were established at St Vincent’s Hospital. In 1999 he was named Australian of the Century at the People’s Choice Awards.