Heart Of Cape Town museum at Groote Schuur hospital 1
A museum showing a history of heart transplants at the Groote Schuur hospital of Cape Town, with a focus on the first successful human heart transplant and events leading to it.
It was performed in December 1967 by Dr. Christiaan Barnard Neethling with the help of 31 other medical staff, on a 54 year old named Louis Washkansky.
The donor was a 24 year old woman named Denise Darvall who had suffered a fatal car accident.
Despite the successful surgery, Louis only lived for a further 18 days, before succumbing to pneumonia —caused by the immune suppressing drugs he was taking to prevent his body from rejecting the new heart.
Dr. Barnaard went on to perform 5 more surgeries, all of whom lived longer than Louis, with the record being 24 years.
Today, much of this memorable day has been recreated inside the museum, using a number of life sized models showing the different moments.
From the experiments performed on dogs beforehand, to the actual surgery and moments after it — which happened in the same building.
There also also are a number of photos, documents and videos from the past as well as the diseased hearts taken from Dr. Barnaard's six patients.
What to do thereSee and know more about the first successful heart transplant in the world, those that followed and the pioneering efforts of Dr. Chris Barnaard.
May need to call before hand to check for availability.
Best time to visitAny time of the year.
Location of Heart of Cape Town museumIn the older section of the Groote Schuur hospital, and in Observatory, Cape Town.
How to get there By train, vehicle, cycling, passenger minibus, walking.
There is a train station nearby as well as a sea and airport within the city's limits.
References1. By Tiiu Sild - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16817261