GOOGLE celebrates the life of René Favaloro, an Argentinian doctor famed for his ground-breaking work in heart bypass surgery.

We take a closer look at his life and his pioneering work.

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Favaloro, pictured here in 1996, found acclaim due to his pioneering work
AP:Associated Press

Who was René Favaloro?

Born on July 12, 1923 in La Plata, René Geronimo Favaloro developed an early love of football and supported Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.

After school he studied medicine at the National University in the city and while in his third year he had a medical residency at the Hospital Policlinico San Martin and professors Jose Maria Mainetti and Federico EB Christmann both took him under their wing.

Having graduated in 1949 he took a job a doctor in the small town of Jacinto Arauz and brought his brother, Juan Jose, into the clinic.

He developed in interest in cardiovascular intervention and particularly thoracic surgery – surgery on the organs inside the thorax – and went to work in the Cleveland Clinic in the US in 1962where he developed his skills in cardiovascular surgery.

In early 1967 he began researching the use of the saphenous vein – the longest vein in the body – in coronary surgery.

His basic principle was to bypass an obstructed part in a coronary artery in order to still deliver blood.

Favaloro was able to put his idea into practice for the first time in May 1967 when he operated on a 51-year-old woman.

His technique revolutionised the treatment of coronary disease, bringing him worldwide acclaim.

He returned to Argentina in 1971 hoping to set up a similar centre of excellence in his home country along the lines of the Cleveland Clinic and founded the Fundacion Favaloro in 1975.

By 2000, with Argentina in the grip of an economic and political crisis and his foundation in debt to the tune of $18million, he killed himself with a gunshot to his chest.

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Favaloro shot himself in 2000

What is a Google Doodle?

In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.

The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.

Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.

Google kicked off 2019 with an animated Doodle of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

And on February 5, 2019, the Chinese New Year was celebrated with a hand animation transforming into a pig.

Google Doodle - Google Doodle today celebrates René Favaloro, pioneering Argentinian doctor who introduced heart bypass surgery
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life and work of the Argentinian doctor

St Patrick’s Day on March 17 was remembered with a Celtic Google Doodle.

And on March 21, Google Doodle used AI for the first time in a tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach.

The Doodle allowed users to create their own tune.

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