Party of the Century: Mid-century advancements - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Party of the Century: Mid-century advancements

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- As the Mayo Clinic looks back on 150 years of healing, we're taking the opportunity to look back on the history of the Clinic and how things changed over those years.

It's Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie that we can credit with creating the modern Mayo Clinic. Both men died as the country was entering World War II, but their legacy went on to inspire even more medical advancements to change the world.

"They loved boating on the Mississippi River," said Matt Dacy, the Director of Mayo Clinic's Heritage Hall.

From 1910 to 1938, if they weren't working, you could find Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie afloat.

"There was kind of a peacefulness," Dacy said.

But after years of navigating and entertaining on the Oronoco, the Minnesota and the North Star, the world changed.

"They sold the boat in The Depression to help people in financial need," Dacy said.

The brothers earned those hours on the Mississippi. While the Mayo's and other Clinic doctors made groundbreaking medical advancements, they were also changing the Rochester skyline from the ground up.

In 1928, they opened the Plummer Building.

"That was the main Mayo Clinic between the two World Wars," Dacy said. "So when you hear about Lou Gehrig , Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt coming to Mayo, that was their Mayo Clinic."

Unfortunately, the Mayo brothers didn't live to see the Mayo Building open in 1955 or the life changing procedure that happened the same year.

"Anybody who has received open heart surgery, cardiac transplant, it really began right here at Mayo Clinic," Dacy said.

1955 was the year of the heart-lung bypass machine.

"That shows you how the blood would flow through here," said Dacy, demonstrating how the machine on display at Heritage Hall used to function. "The red represents the blood and the blue is oxygen being given to the patient to keep the patient alive."

That year, the machine started saving lives.

"One little girl from North Dakota, Linda Stout, she was the first person at Mayo, the second person in the world to survive that procedure," Dacy said.
That little girl came back to the Clinic in 2005 for the 50th anniversary of her surgery, still with memory of what her parents told her moments before she became a part of history.

"When you wake up from your surgery, you'll either be with mommy and daddy who you know love you, or Jesus who will love you more than we do," Linda Stout told us back in 2005.

The procedures developed during those years still save lives, and the landmark buildings constructed during that time still stand in Rochester, but so much has changed since then.
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