14 Things You Didn't Know a Latter-day Saint Invented

11 and 12. Kidney Dialysis Shunt and Lightweight Treadmill

If you or anyone you know has ever required kidney dialysis, you should know it was a Latter-day Saint who helped make that easier.

Wayne Quinton, a Latter-day Saint born in Rigby, Idaho, started work as a master layout draftsman for Boeing B-29 bomber planes in 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor. He eventually began work at the University of Washington, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree in 1959.

Quinton loved to learn and studied across multiple fields, allowing him to connect the engineering and medicine worlds. This led him to become a pioneer of bioengineering. One of the most notable contributions he made was a revolutionary kidney dialysis shunt developed through a collaborative effort with Belding Scribner in 1960. The device allowed patients to easily reconnect to a dialysis machine, an important and life-saving job for those with kidney disease.

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Arguably just as significant was Quinton’s lightweight treadmill, developed several years before the kidney shunt in the early 1950s. Though not the first treadmill ever invented, Quinton’s model was specifically designed for use in doctors’ offices to test heart patients. When Quinton launched his own company to market some of his inventions, the lightweight treadmill quickly became standard in the industry. Modernized versions of his original model are still used today in gyms, fitness centers, and homes.

Despite initial doubts about the Church and its members, Quinton studied the Church and Joseph Smith from a scientific perspective before finally deciding to listen to the gospel message. He was baptized in 1956 at age 35 and maintained a strong testimony.

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