South Africa has become synonymous with exceptional medical talent thanks to the world’s first heart transplant at the hands of our very own Professor Christiaan Barnard. Our rich medical history was shared with excited learners from Phoenix High School in Manenberg, Athlone who recently visited the iconic site at the Heart of Cape Town Museum at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev - local bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western and Northern Cape) in partnership with the Heart of Cape Town Museum sponsored the High School’s visit to the operating theatres-turned-museum where the extraordinary event took place nearly 46 years ago.
Forty-nine enthusiastic Grade eleven learners arrived at the Heart of Cape Town Museum where tour conductor Christine Heydenrych led the interactive visit. Learners were transported back to 03 December 1967 when Prof. Christiaan Barnard made history in transplanting the world’s first human heart.
Life-size human and medical replicas of the iconic day have been placed within the museum at the exact location where the historical surgery took place. It portrays scenes from the event and includes every detail including Prof. Barnard and his colleagues dressed in green scrubs armed with surgical instruments, blood-soaked operating swabs and sharp scalpels. The learners even saw the heart of the donor that had been transplanted to the recipient, Mr Louis Washkansky!
“The museum tour is an exciting and fascinating journey back in time and an opportunity for learners to study South Africa’s rich history. The life-size models make it possible for them to visualize the event in all its glory which helped shape the medical industry. We also hope that through these tours, we encourage pupils to consider further education in medicine or science,” comments Heydenrych.
“Youth education for the previously disadvantaged is important to us as a company and we are delighted to be in a position to partner with the Heart of Cape Town Museum to educate learners about our country’s historical events. The tours are a fun way to teach learners the importance of a good education and hopefully inspire them to achieve greatness in their own lives,” comments Denise Green, Corporate Social Investment Manager at PenBev. This initiative forms part of PenBev’s community programmes which assist in uplifting the communities in which they operate in.
For more information on the Heart of Cape Town Museum and tours, visit www.heartofcapetown.co.za.
For more information about PenBev contact 021-936-5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za. Join PenBev’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PenBev
Photographer: Craig Wilson
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