FAMU Freshman Continues to Excel After Inventing Surgical Technique at Age 14

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Tallahassee, FL -

Tony Hansberry has been in numerous magazine, newspaper, and TV reports.

But, the 18-year-old says he's a regular freshman at FAMU. He says, "Like other students, I'm trying to do the best I can; really no difference."

What Hansberry has achieved is not "regular" for a teenager.

At age 14, he created a new medical technique for sewing up women after a hysterectomy.

Hansberry says, "I took two different laparoscopic tools and went in and did a horizontal verse vertical stitch to come up with a new stitch to close the vaginal cuff. It's almost in a sense like you put your shirt on one way, I put it on the other way. So, basically it's about whatever the surgeon believes is best for them."

Hansberry's invention came about after not winning his 8th grade science fair.

He says, determined to win the next year, he collaborated with an administrator at Shands Hospital in Gainesville who, gave him the topic of his project.

"It feels great. It definitely gives me inspiration to continue my dreams." He says.

His grandmother, Janie Hansberry, says, "I'm humbled and thankful. Words are inadequate to describe how I really feel as a grandparent. I'm just thankful to God that I've been able to live to witness it."

The science fair that he entered his invention in, Hansberry won *second* place.

He says, "It's ironic because of all of the attention that it's received just to get second place. But, I'm blessed for it."

Hansberry grew up in Jacksonville, but, his family is from Tallahassee. His grandmother still lives in Tallahassee.

He says says he chose to go to FAMU because his father and other family members attended there. Hansberry says FAMU also offered him opportunities that other schools did not offer him.

His other school of choice was Howard University.

Hansberry has a twin brother who is also in the medical field. Both plan to go to medical school. Hansberry says he wants to be a trauma surgeon and his brother wants to be a pathologist.

Their grandmother says, "Tony and Tyler are gifts from God. It humbles me with both of them."


FAMU Freshman Continues to Excel After Inventing Surgical Technique at Age 14

His method for sewing up hysterectomy patients a staple at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Tony D. Hansberry is not your average college freshman. Perceived at as a child prodigy after developing an innovative suture method that decreases hospital stay and increases efficiency during operations for hysterectomies, the then 14-year-old said he just wanted to bring a prize back home from the science fair.

“People think I’m a genius,” Hansberry said. “It’s not that at all, I just like medicine.”

Hansberry, a freshman bio-medical engineering student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), said after not winning in the science fair in the eighth grade, he teamed up with an administrator at Shands Hospital to create the innovative surgical procedure. Hansberry has continued his education in the field that caught his interest early on as a child.

Unlike most students, the 18-year-old Hansberry was no stranger to the hills of FAMU. Born in Tallahassee and raised in Jacksonville, Fla., Hansberry considers FAMU to be home.

“The joy that my dad has when he sees his friends, I wanted that,” said Hansberry, the offspring of FAMU alumnus Elder Tony Hansberry.

Like his father, a former Marching “100” member and King of Orange and Green, Tony D. Hansberry has the Rattler leadership venom in his veins. Hansberry presides as the freshman class senator and will continue to serve until his term is over.

Hansberry, like other first-time students, said he continues to learn how to balance school and extracurricular activities while he maintains his good grades.

“Make sure you know the priorities of school before you join any organization,” Hansberry said.

Being a full time student and freshman class senator requires a lot of time and networking, but Hansberry said he knows it is something he can master.

Hansberry said he was torn about changing his major from bio-medical engineering to chemistry, but now finds comfort in knowing that he has a clear definition of what he wants to pursue for the longevity of his career.

“I want to become a trauma surgeon,” Hansberry said.

Hansberry acknowledges that the career he has chosen requires dedication, plenty of studying and long nights, but he has the drive and will to get there.

“I don’t know how I’m going to get there, I just know I will,” Hansberry said.

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