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Louis Washkansky



Louis Washkansky (1913 – 21 December 1967) was the recipient of the world's first human heart transplant.

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Washkansky was a Lithuanian Jew, who migrated with his friends to South Africa in 1922, aged nine, and became a grocer in Cape Town. Washkansky saw active service in World War II in East and North Africa and Italy. After the war, he married his wife Ann.

Washkansky was an avid sportsman. He took part in soccer, swimming, and weightlifting. However, late in his life his health declined substantially: he was diabetic, and had an incurable heart disease, causing him to suffer three heart attacks. The last of these heart attacks led to congestive heart failure.

He received his heart transplant on 3 December 1967, at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The donor was Denise Darvall, who had recently been critically injured in a car accident, and the procedure was performed by Professor Christiaan Barnard. It was a success, but Washkansky had a weakened immune system and died of double pneumonia eighteen days after the transplant.

His grandson, Dale Washkansky, is a South African artist.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Louis_Washkansky". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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