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Christiaan Barnard and Barbara Zoellner, smiling, talking to a woman, 1970.

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Christiaan Barnard and Barbara Zoellner, smiling, talking to a woman, 1970.
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Christiaan Barnard and Barbara Zoellner, smiling, talking to a woman, 1970.
Christiaan Barnard and Barbara Zoellner, smiling, talking to a woman, 1970.
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Christiaan Barnard and Barbara Zoellner, smiling, talking to a woman, 1970. Christiaan Neethling Barnard (8 November 1922 – 2 September 2001) was a South African cardiac surgeon who performed the world's first successful human-to-human heart transplant. Barnard grew up in Beaufort West, Cape Province, Union of South Africa. His father, Adam Barnard, was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.[1] One of his four brothers, Abraham, died of a heart problem at the age of five. Barnard matriculated from the Beaufort West High School in 1940, and went to study medicine at the University of Cape Town Medical School, where he obtained his MB ChB in 1945. Barnard did his internship and residency at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, after which he worked as a general practitioner in Ceres, a rural town in the Cape Province.[1] In 1951, he returned to Cape Town where he worked at the City Hospital as a Senior Resident Medical Officer, and in the Department of Medicine at the Groote Schuur Hospital as a registrar.[1] He completed his master's degree, receiving Master of Medicine in 1953 from the University of Cape Town. In the same year he obtained a doctorate in medicine (MD) from the same university for a dissertation titled "The treatment of tuberculous meningitis". In 1956, he received a two-year scholarship for postgraduate training in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States under open-heart surgery pioneer Walt Lillehei.[1] It was during this time that Barnard first became acquainted with fellow future heart transplantation surgeon Norman Shumway, who along with Richard Lower did much of the trailblazing research leading to the first successful human heart transplant.[1] In 1958 he received a Master of Science in Surgery for a thesis titled "The aortic valve – problems in the fabrication and testing of a prosthetic valve".[1] The same year he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy degree for his dissertation titled "The aetiology of congenital intestinal atresia".[1] Barnard described the two years he spent in the United States as "the most fascinating time in my life." Following the first successful kidney transplant in 1953, in the United States, Barnard performed the second kidney transplant in South Africa in October 1967, the first being done in Johannesburg the previous year.[3][page needed][4] Barnard experimented for several years with animal heart transplants.[1] More than 50 dogs received transplanted hearts.[1][5] With the availability of new breakthroughs introduced by several pioneers, amongst them Norman Shumway, several surgical teams were in a position to prepare for a human heart transplant.[1] Barnard had a patient willing to undergo the procedure, but as with other surgeons, he needed a suitable donor.[1][5] He performed the world's first human heart transplant operation on 3 December 1967, in an operation assisted by his brother, Marius Barnard; the operation lasted nine hours and used a team of thirty people.[1] The patient, Louis Washkansky, was a 54-year-old grocer, suffering from diabetes and incurable heart disease.[1][5] Barnard later wrote, "For a dying man it is not a difficult decision because he knows he is at the end. If a lion chases you to the bank of a river filled with crocodiles, you will leap into the water, convinced you have a chance to swim to the other side." The donor heart came from a young woman, Denise Darvall, who had been rendered brain damaged in an accident on 2 December 1967, while crossing a street in Cape Town.[1] After securing permission from Darvall's father to use her heart, Barnard performed the transplant. Rather than wait for Darvall's heart to stop beating, at his brother, Marius Barnard's urging, Christiaan had injected potassium into her heart to paralyse it and render her technically dead by the whole-body standard.[1] Twenty years later, Marius Barnard recounted, "Chris stood there for a few moments, watching, then stood back and said, 'It works.'"[1][5] Washkansky survived the operation and lived for 18 days. However, he succumbed to pneumonia as he was taking immunosuppressive drugs. Though the first patient with the heart of another human being survived for only a little more than two weeks, Barnard had passed a milestone in a new field of life-extending surgery. Barnard was celebrated around the world for his accomplishment. He was photogenic, and enjoyed the media attention following the operation. Barnard continued to perform heart transplants. A transplant operation was conducted on 2 January 1968, and the patient, Philip Blaiberg, survived for 19 months. Dirk van Zyl, who received a new heart in 1971, was the longest-lived recipient, surviving over 23 years.[6] Barnard performed ten orthotopic transplants (1967–1973). He was also the first to perform a heterotopic heart transplant, an operation that he devised. Forty-nine consecutive heterotopic heart transplants were performed in Cape Town between 1975 and 1984. Many surgeons gave up cardiac transplantation due to poor results, often due to rejection of the transplanted heart by the patient's immune system. Barnard persisted until the advent of ciclosporin, an effective immunosuppressive drug, which helped revive the operation throughout the world. He was also the first surgeon to attempt xenograft transplantation in a human patient, while attempting to save the life of a young girl unable to leave artificial life support after a second aortic valve replacement. Barnard's first marriage was to Aletta Gertruida Louw, a nurse, whom he married in 1948 while practising medicine in Ceres. The couple had two children — Deirdre (born 1950) and Andre (1951–1984).[1][8] International fame took a toll on his personal life, and in 1969, Barnard and his wife divorced. In 1970, he married heiress Barbara Zoellner when she was 19, the same age as his son, and they had two children — Frederick (born 1972) and Christiaan Jr. (born 1974).[9] He divorced Zoellner in 1982.[9] Barnard married for a third time in 1988 to Karin Setzkorn, a young model.[9] They also had two children, Armin (born 1990) and Lara (born 1997), but this last marriage also ended in divorce in 2000.[9] people, man, women, Christiaan Barnard was , African, Cardiac surgeon, standing, smiling, talking, night, 1970

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