The Book

It was only 65 years ago when people with kidney failure were still doomed to die, because medical science couldn’t find any treatment for it. Like 22-year old farmer’s son Jan Bruning, who died in a Dutch hospital ward in October 1938. The doctor who watched him was Dr ‘Pim’ Kolff, aged 27 at the time and the youngest doctor in the hospital.

The death of Jan Bruning made a huge impression on Pim Kolff. He wouldn’t accept that he had to tell a farmers wife her only son had to die and he started looking for answers. Seven years later, after endless experiments during the darkest days of the Second World War in Europe, Kolff saved the life of a kidney patient with his self built artificial kidney machine.

Who is Pim Kolff and what ignited this man’s passion? His inventions now routinely save millions of lives all over the world, day after day, but what made him the important inventor he is?

Based on extensive research in the United States and Europe, interviews with Kolff, members of his family, colleagues and students, biographer Herman Broers (The Netherlands, 1970) retells the remarkable life-story of one of the most important medical inventors of modern times.

From the early days of his childhood to the painstaking experiments with the first artificial kidney in wartime Holland. From his battle with the nazi-regime in the centre of the underground resistance to his emigration to the United States in 1950. From his difficult restart at the age of 40 as an assistant-researcher in Cleveland to his glory days of the Barney Clark artificial heart implantation in Salt Lake City (1982). And his on-going struggle for new artificial organs at the age of 96.

‘Inventor for Life’ is an exciting biography of a persistently inventive doctor, idealist and humanitarian who had great success, but also suffered numerous losses in a lifelong battle to restore people to an enjoyable existence.

The book 'Inventor for Life' was published on May 2nd, 2007 and is being distributed worldwide from The Netherlands. Through this website you can order the book now, directly with publisher B&V Media Publishers in Kampen (NL).

Would you like to order now? Click here, or on the 'How to Order' button in the main menu.

'Inventor for Life, The Story of W. J. Kolff, Father of Artificial Organs'
hardcover, 260 pages, 35 pictures
ISBN: 978-90-78430-01-8

’Even without hope I shall undertake, even without success I shall persevere.’ - W.J. Kolff