In honor of Black History Month we thought it would be nice to highlight history in the making - Tony Hansberry II, now a 17 year-old high school senior in Jacksonville, Florida, was recently recognized for an invention he made three years ago at the age of 14. Per the Milwaukee Courier:
At the time, Hansberry was a high school freshman at the Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School of the Medical Arts in Jacksonville, Florida, a special medical magnet school that allows its students to take advanced classes in medicine. Informational documents cite that students at the school are able to master suturing in eighth grade. Suturing is the surgical stitching of a wound.
The son of a registered nurse and an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor, the Darnell-Cookman student said that “I just want to help people and be respected, knowing that I can save lives.” His goal is to become a neurosurgeon.
Jones reports that the idea for his unique procedure was conceived during the summer of 2008 while enrolled as an intern at the University of Florida ’s Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research at Shands Hospital in Jacksonville.
It was noted that Hansberry responded to a challenge to improve a procedure called the “endo stitch” used in hysterectomies that could not be clamped down properly to close the tube where the patient’s uterus had been. Using a medical dummy, the 14-year-old devised a vertical way to apply the endo stitch, completing the stitching in a third of the time of traditional surgery.
“It took me a day or two to come up with the concept,” Hansberry said in the Jones interview.
He was supervised by urogynecologist Dr. Brent Siebel and Bruce Nappi, administrative director of the Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research. Hansberry’s accomplishment, it is reported, won second place in the medical category regional science fair in February 2009.
Second place? What took first place, a talking chihuahua? In any event, any student who can come up with a brand new medical technique at an age where most kids are playing video games and speaking broken English on facebook deserves a serious pat on the back and a "job well done." The article goes on to note that Tony was recognized by President Obama last year for his accomplishments. We're sure his parents are very proud.
Tony Hansberry, we at The Urban Politico salute you. Keep up the good work, son.