In 1966 the young Christiaan Barnard performs a heart transplant operation on a dog to prove that heart transplantation is possible. One year later he will successfully transplant a human heart for the first time in human history.
Christiaan Barnard-It was on the historical third day of December in the year 1967 when Christiaan Barnard added a new glorious chapter to the pages of medical history with his first human-to-human heart transplant. It was his deep fascination and his sincere personal drive that led him to accomplish this groundbreaking surgery.
Hamilton Naki became a self-taught surgeon of such skill that Dr. Christiaan Barnard chose him to assist in the world's first human heart transplant in 1967. His contribution was kept secret for three decades because he was a black man in apartheid-era South Africa. He acquired his surgical skills through years of silent observation and covert practice at the university's medical school. His skills were so esteemed that the university quietly looked the other way.
Hamilton Naki; Self-Taught Surgeon Aided Heart Transplant
Hamilton Naki, a former gardener who was so skilled in complicated surgery that he helped in the world's first human heart transplant - but had to keep this secret in apartheid South Africa. "He has skills I don't have," Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who performed the heart operation, told the Associated Press (1993). "If Hamilton had the opportunity to perform, he would have probably become a brilliant surgeon." Dr Barnard asked Mr. Naki to be part of the backup team in what became the world's…
Dr. Christiaan BarnardDr. Christiaan Barnard, the famed South African surgeon who performed the first human heart transplant on 53-year-old Louis Washkansky in 1967, had health issues himself. Dr. Barnard had RA, which forced him to end his surgical career in 1983. He spent his last years on the lecture circuit, dividing his time between Europe and Cape Province in South Africa, where he had a farm. He died in Cyprus in 2001.