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27 Jan, 2008 22:11

Top organ transplant doctor dies at 76

One of Russia's most famous surgeons has died in Moscow. Valery Shumakov was the first to successfully perform transplant operations in the USSR.

The 76-year-old was taking part in complicated operations just days before his death on Sunday.

Shumakov began his medical career by researching blood flow during congenital heart disorder operations.

He was the founding father of organ transplants in Russia, creating the Transplant and Artificial Organs Research Institute, which he headed for more than 30 years.

He was the first doctor in Russia to successfully transplant a liver, a heart and a thyroid.

Doctor Shumakov was recognized by both the Soviet and Russian governments for his achievements in medicine.

Over his career he performed more than 1000 operations, including 150 successful heart transplants.

He never forgot his patients and kept photographs of many of the people he treated.

President Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences to Shumakov's relatives and friends.