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30 November 2017

Papworth's role in Science Museum heart transplant display

The 50th anniversary of the world’s first successful heart transplant is the focus of a new display – organised in partnership with Papworth Hospital - at the Science Museum in London.

On 3 December, 1967 the world was amazed by news that Christiaan Barnard, a little-known South African heart surgeon, had transplanted Denise Darvall’s heart into Louis Washkansky’s chest at a hospital in Cape Town, following a road traffic accident.
Half a century on from this landmark operation, the display compares heart transplant surgery then and now through personal stories from donors, surgeons and recipients - including Papworth patient Eric Scoones, who received a new heart in 2013. He takes over 200 tablets a month, each carefully recorded in a notebook that is now on show.
Trust Chairman Professor John Wallwork and Mr Pedro Catarino, Clinical Director of Transplantation, were among the Papworth team who advised the museum - in Exhibition Road, South Kensington – and provided surgical equipment used in a modern heart transplant.

The display will be in place until spring 2018.