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Heart transplant pioneer, Union alum Melvin dies at 66

David Melvin, a surgeon at the University Hospital in Cincinnati and a 1964 Union graduate, died Nov. 8.
David Melvin, a surgeon at the University Hospital in Cincinnati and a 1964 Union graduate, died Nov. 8.

JACKSON, Tenn.Nov. 24, 2008 – Heart transplant surgeon and 1964 Union University graduate David Melvin died Nov. 8 at the University Hospital in Cincinnati after a three-week hospitalization.

He was 66.

Melvin was diagnosed on Oct. 17 with bilateral pneumonia and acute myeloid leukemia. He was surrounded by his wife Sue and their four sons when he died.

Melvin was a founding member of the Lambda Zeta chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha on the Union campus. He began the Adult Heart Transplant Program at the University of Cincinnati in 1985, and performed more than 100 heart transplants. In 1998, he began a research laboratory, Cardioenergetics, for developing devices to support the failing heart.

A full-length feature story on Melvin and his work ran in the summer 2006 edition of the Unionite, and is available at www.uu.edu/Unionite/summer06/MattersoftheHeart.pdf.

His remains have been cremated, and a memorial celebration of his life will be held Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. at Sycamore Presbyterian Church, 11800 Mason Road, in Cincinnati, followed by a reception at the church. More information can be found at the Web site of the funeral home, www.tuftsschildmeyer.com.


Media contact: Mark Kahler, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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