Many remember the proudly beaming face of South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard after he performed the first human heart transplant. But he was not alone in his quest. In truth it was a fourway race, a fierce struggle fraught with passionate rivalry. Three other surgeons were giants in the field, and by early December 1967 all were poised to make medical history.
Each had spent years perfecting his techniques; each monitored his chosen patient's condition, watching the clock, hoping a donor would be found in time. From a dank, under-equipped hospital in Cape Town to a cramped lab in San Francisco, the surgeons worked miracles, testing the limits of both science and nature. Some were friends; others were enemies. Only one would be the first.
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