Fifty years ago,

Fifty years ago, the first heart transplant in the history

50 years have passed since the first heart transplant in history

On December 3, 1967, the surgeon-the south african Christiaan Barnard had become a Louis Washkansky, a 53 year old who was suffering from severe heart failure, a man with the heart of a young woman’. To donate the organ was, in fact, was Denise Darvall, a woman of 25 years employee of the bank, who the day before had been run over while crossing the street.

The father of the girl immediately gave the consent, report the chronicles of the time, and Washkansky was brought to the operating room in the early hours of 3 December. The transplant was performed by a team of 20 people.

“When the last connection was made – shows the book ‘Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart’, the writer and journalist Donald McRae – it was the moment of truth.

All lengthened the neck to see better.

In complete silence the professor Barnard muttered, ‘Christ, it will work'”. The patient continued to speak 33 hours after the surgery, saying that they feel much better, but died 18 days later of pneumonia.

The heart was working perfectly, but the immune system was weakened by the immunosuppressive drugs.

Barnard became famous all over the world, and he died in 2001 at 79 years, following a severe attack of asthma. Nowadays, there are about 6 thousand heart transplants / year in the world, while in 2016 in Italy have been carried out 267. .


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