I’m currently doing my medical electives at Groote Schuur Hospital which is the teaching Hospital of the University of Capetown in South Africa. My experience here is a story for another day.
Yesterday, I visited the heart of Cape Town Museum which is the site of the world’s first Human Heart transplant.
It was fascinating how they managed to preserve all that history. I wish I had a better camera to take better pictures. I’ll share the ones I have anyways.
If you’re ever in Capetown, Do visit the heart of Capwtown museum. You won’t regret it. It’s worth your ZAR 200.
First is the laboratory where Dr. Chris Barnard successfully transplanted 50 canine hearts. The original set is seen but the dog is just a (?wax) model.
Then we were shown the original room set of the young lady who happened to be the first heart donor after being certified brain dead. There was also classical music being played in the background of the room because it was what she always listened to. The room set was donated by her younger brothers.
A recreation of Dr. Chris Barnard on his office with his original office set. The figure is a wax model made by the people at Madamme Tussauds.
This is a recreation in the original operating theatre where the first donor heart was harvested. Dr. Chris Barnard’s younger brother was the lead surgeon here. The heart was harvested and put in a dish with Ringers Lactate at 10 degrees and quickly transported to the adjoining operating theatre where Dr. Chris Barnard had prepared the recipient for transplantation.
Now here’s where the magic happened. This is the original operating room where the first transplanted heart started beating.
And this is a recreation of the first heart transplant recipient in his recovery room.
I’ve added some links for references.