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Christiaan Barnard

Did you know that the first ever heart transplant, performed by dr James D.Hardy in 1964, involved a chimpanzee's heart placed in the chest of a dying American upholsterer? The operation was a limited success as the donated heart continued beating for only an hour or so. Dr Hardy did not have a human donor available, but South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard fortunately did.

In 1967, he performed the very first human-to-human heart transplant at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. If you should ever have a need for a better heart than the one beating in your own chest, do remember one of the people you’ll have to thank for a second chance at life.