Heart of Cape Town museum, Cape Town
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"It is the crowning effort of a team of men and women who bring at that moment the training of a lifetime. Structured with the inherited technique and skill of a millennium - all are fused to one objective: to replace a dying heart with a new one to save one life."
(Christiaan Neethling Barnard, 1922-2001).
The drama of the world’s first heart transplant, led by Professor Christiaan Neethling Barnard, played out within the walls of the Charles Saint Theatre here at Groote Schuur Hospital on 3 December 1967.
The transplant, one of the greatest moments in medical history, was made possible by an extraordinary interplay of scientific dedication, human courage and generosity and a timely chain of events.
Today, The Heart of Cape Town Museum honours all those who played a major role in a surgical feat that pushed the boundaries of science into the dawn of a new medical era, an era in which it became possible to transplant the symbol of the essence of life our human heart.