“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.