A Momentous Day – Dec 3, 1967

“For a dying man it is not a difficult decision [to agree to become the world’s first heart transplant] … because he knows he is at the end. If a lion chases you to the bank of a river filled with crocodiles, you will leap into the water convinced you have a chance to swim to the other side. But you would not accept such odds if there were no lion.”

~ Christiaan Barnard

First Heart Transplant performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard

First recipient – Louis Washkansky, survived 18 days

First Donor & Hero – Denise Darval

Dec, 3, 1967

I was in high school when this magnificent event occurred. I can remember that it completely captured my attention and in the subsequent weeks I scoured all the periodicals of those days ….. Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, etc. The debates raged about the ethics, the merits, the potential issues and misuse of such a cutting edge and life changing (and life saving) surgery.

I had no idea how it would touch me personally almost 40 years later.

I thank God every day for these incredible people that paved the way! As well as my own hero/donor,  my medical team, family & friends.


About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
This entry was posted in Daily Insight, General, Heart Transplant and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Momentous Day – Dec 3, 1967

  1. Ms. A says:

    The advances have been amazing and who knew back then, that you (or my son) would be part of those advances!

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