Christiaan Neethling Barnard (8 November 1922 – 2 September 2001) was a South African cardiac surgeon who performed the world's first human-to-human heart transplant operation. On 3 December 1967, Barnard transplanted the heart of accident victim Denise Darvall into the chest of 54-year-old Louis Washkansky, with Washkansky regaining full consciousness and being able to talk easily with his wife, before dying eighteen days later of pneumonia, largely brought on by the anti-rejection drugs that suppressed his immune system. Barnard had told Mr. and Mrs. Washkansky that the operation had an 80% chance of success, an assessment which has been criticised as misleading. Barnard's second transplant patient, Philip Blaiberg, whose operation was performed at the beginning of 1968, returned home from the hospital and lived for a year and a half.
Christiaan Barnard became world famous for performing the world's first human-to-human heart transplant operation on December 3, 1967, at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, in the midst of apartheid.
The transplant patient, 55-year-old Louis Washkansky, survived the operation and lived another 18 days before succumbing to pneumonia.. Read more..
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