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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.

Today, the original surgery theatres remain laid out as they were on 3 December 1967, creating an authentic experience and representation of the operating process. The medical museum also includes an introductory room, accident room, animal laboratory, timeline of events that led up to the operation, the donor – Denise Darvall – and a Barnard exhibit.

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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