Medical school honors apostle

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve, an internationally known heart surgeon, was given a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Medicine of the University of Utah.

Elder Nelson, who was also part of the 50-year anniversary graduating class of the school, was presented with the annual award at a banquet at a local hotel May 2.Dr. Stephen D. Taylor, president of the Alumni Association of the School of Medicine of the University of Utah, said the award was based on lifetime achievement. He noted the fact that Elder Nelson was a resident at the University of Minnesota and a member of the research team that developed the heart-lung machine that paved the way for open-heart surgery.

Elder Nelson also performed the first open heart operation in Utah using an artificial heart-lung machine, which he built. Utah thus became the third state in the nation where this kind of operation was performed.

Elder Nelson also became internationally known as a visiting professor of surgery in many other nations. He lectured throughout the United States and in 65 countries abroad. He was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve on April 7, 1984.

He is an author of numerous publications and chapters in textbooks, has been president, chairman or a director of leading medical heart organizations, and received many awards including an honorary doctorate from BYU and awards from the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Achievement. He and his wife, Dantzel, are parents of 10 children.

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