Cape Town Heart Musuem, guided medical tour Guided coach tours of South Africa

The World’s first successful Heart Transplant

The late Dr Christiaan Barnard and his heart transplant team undertook the successful challenge on the 3rd December 1967 in Groote Schuur Hospital Cape Town. The operation commenced at 01.00am and was completed by 05.58 on the 3rd December 1967.  The wall cock on the theatre wall tells it all.  This Year, 2017, marks the 50th anniversary of this world breaking medical achievement.

The donor heart came from a young woman, Denise Darvall age 25 years, working as a bank clerk.  Denise and her mother where walking across the main road to a cake shop.  They where very close to the hospital.  A a car skipped the traffic light and hit them both in full view of her father and brother.  The mother was killed instantly and Denise suffered extensive Brain and Pelvic damage.  She was rushed to the trauma room at Groote Schuur Hospital.  Her condition was assessed by a few doctors who pronounce her Brain dead.  Doctor Chris Barnard approached her father, who had witnessed the fatal accident moments earlier.  He offered the father his sympathy.  He asked if he would be willing to donate his daughters heart to be transplanted.  After a little thought the father agreed.

Below is the Theatre where the donor’s heart was removed

First Heart transplant surgery

First heart transplant

Today the original wards & operating theatres are now a museum. A tour guide guides you through the life of this amazing Doctor. Walk amongst the life size doctors & medical staff in the original operating theatres where eerily realistic wax sculptures of Dr Barnard and his team are displayed, shown giving the first heart recipient Louis Washkansky a new lease of life. Both

Medical professionals and people from all walks of life will find this a truly captivating & amazing 2 hour tour – highly recommended.  Speak to to arrange and join a world ground breaking & fascinating medical tour.

Below is the operating theatre where Louis Washkansky is receiving his new heart.

Mr Louis Washkansky

Original operating theatre