Charles B. Willock; Created Dialysis Device
Charles Bernard Willock, 86, inventor of a revolutionary home kidney dialysis machine. Willock, with no college training, became chief design engineer for a Portland sawmill manufacturer and invented several useful items. Using spare parts he found in his basement, he created his home dialysis machine in 1964 after hearing about a patient who was forced to sell his home to pay for $30,000 in dialysis treatments. To add to the patient’s woes, his wife ran off with the proceeds from the sale. With Dr. Richard Drake, Willock founded Drake Willock Co. to manufacture the machines in Milwaukie, Ore. Since then, Willock’s machine has been built by many companies and has revolutionized treatment for patients with chronic renal failure. Willock also claimed credit for inventing a parking garage car lift, a machine that dug Colorado’s North American Air Defense tunnel, a biopsy needle and a roll-up splint used by paramedics. On Feb. 13 in Oregon City, Ore.