Transplant tour

On Sunday, the Groote Schuur Hospital Trust celebrated the 56th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant by a team led by Professor Christiaan Barnard at Groote Schuur in 1967. About 30 hospital staff and other guests visited the Heart of Cape Town Museum for a tour led by Wikus Esterhuizen, 53, of Melkbosstrand, who had a heart transplant 17 years ago. Dene Friedmann, a perfusionist who was part of the heart-transplant team in 1967, said: “It’s very nostalgic and brings back all the memories to me.” According to provincial transplant co-ordinator Grant-Lee Hoffman, Groote Schuur has performed 561 heart transplants since then.

Heart-transplant recipient Wikus Esterhuizen led the tour.
Dene Friedmann was part of the first heart-transplant team 56 years ago.