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Heart of Cape Town Museum

The Heart of Cape Town Museum celebrates the world’s first open heart surgery, performed by South African Professor, Christiaan Barnard, in 1967. The transplant is renowned as one of the greatest moments in medical history, only made possible by science and human courage. Today, the museum honours the patient and donor, doctors, nurses and everyone else involved in revolutionary surgery.

The drama of the world’s first human heart transplant, led by Professor Christiaan Neethling Barnard, played out within the walls of the Charles Saint Theatre, at Groote Schuur Hospital on the 3rd December 1967.

The human heart transplant, one of the greatest moments in medical history, was made possible by an extraordinary interplay of scientific dedication; human courage and generosity and a timely chain of events.

Today, The Heart of Cape Town Museum honours all those who played a major role in the surgical feat that pushed the boundaries of science, into the dawn of a new medical era, an era in which it became possible to transplant the symbol of the essence of life, our human heart.


Highlights:

  • Medical museum dedicated to the world’s first open heart surgery
  • Performed by South African Professor, Christiaan Barnard, in 1967
  • See the original surgery theatre, timeline displays and more

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Heritage & History

Heart of Cape Town Museum

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Tags: heart surgery, Medical museum, Museum, things to do in cape town