Christiaan Barnard was a South African cardiac surgeon who performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant on 3 December 1967.
Growing up in Beaufort West, Cape Province, he studied medicine and practised for several years in his native country. As a young doctor experimenting on dogs, Barnard developed a remedy for the infant defect of intestinal atresia.
His technique saved the lives of ten babies in Cape Town and was adopted by surgeons in Britain and the United States. In 1955, he travelled to the United States and was initially assigned further gastrointestinal work by Owen Wangensteen.