Hamilton Naki became a self-taught surgeon of such skill that Dr. Christiaan Barnard chose him to assist in the world's first human heart transplant in 1967. His contribution was kept secret for three decades because he was a black man in apartheid-era South Africa. He acquired his surgical skills through years of silent observation and covert practice at the university's medical school. His skills were so esteemed that the university quietly looked the other way.
In 1966 the young Christiaan Barnard performs a heart transplant operation on a dog to prove that heart transplantation is possible. One year later he will successfully transplant a human heart for the first time in human history.
Christiaan Barnard-It was on the historical third day of December in the year 1967 when Christiaan Barnard added a new glorious chapter to the pages of medical history with his first human-to-human heart transplant. It was his deep fascination and his sincere personal drive that led him to accomplish this groundbreaking surgery.
Hamilton Naki; Self-Taught Surgeon Aided Heart Transplant
Hamilton Naki, a former gardener who was so skilled in complicated surgery that he helped in the world's first human heart transplant - but had to keep this secret in apartheid South Africa. "He has skills I don't have," Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who performed the heart operation, told the Associated Press (1993). "If Hamilton had the opportunity to perform, he would have probably become a brilliant surgeon." Dr Barnard asked Mr. Naki to be part of the backup team in what became the world's…
Christiaan Barnard - Famous for performing the first human-to-human heart transplant in 1967, the South African ended his surgical career in 1983 when RA in his hands made it impossible for him to continue operating. Barnard was first diagnosed with RA in 1956. An outspoken critic of apartheid, he said he never won the Nobel Prize because he was "a white South African."