Frederick Douglass was reportedly a distant relative of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the first physician to perform open-heart surgery. Frederick Douglass gave Dr. Williams the following profound advice: “The only way you can succeed is to override the obstacles in your path; by the power that is within you to do what you hope to do!”
In addition to performing the first successful open heart surgery, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams co-founded the first African-American controlled hospital in the United States. The pioneering Provident Hospital, which was located on Chicago’s South Side, was also the first training facility for African American nurses in America. The hospital was said to have an extremely high success rate for the recovery of its patients.