Marius Barnard is best known as a member of the pioneering medical team that performed the world’s first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1967, with his brother Chris. But his achievements extended into other spheres. He was an active anti-apartheid campaigner and MP for the Progressive Federal Party, he worked to improve cardiac surgery standards behind the Iron Curtain and globally, and he played a leading role in the creation of critical illness insurance - his invention, and one that has directly benefited the sick around the world. From humble beginnings as the son of missionary parents in the dusty Karoo town of Beaufort West to his position as one of the world’s leading cardiac surgeons, Marius Barnard’s story is a fascinating and remarkable chronicle of personal determination and courage. It is one of few first-hand accounts of the inaugural human heart transplant and its far-reaching repercussions, both in the world of medicine and in the private lives of its pioneers. In this sincere and deeply personal memoir, Barnard speaks frankly about his relationships with his brother, his colleagues and his adversaries, and describes with humility his fourteen-year struggle with cancer. With candour, authenticity and charm, Defining Moments presents the formidable challenges and spellbinding successes in the life of this international medical icon.
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