The dramatic race to transplant the first human heart spanned two years, three continents and five cities against a backdrop of searing tension, scientific brilliance, ethical controversy, racial strife and emotional turmoil. It culminated in a terrifying moment in the early hours of 3 December 1967 when, in a cramped operating theatre in a Cape Town hospital, Professor Chris Barnard stared into an empty cavity from which he had just removed a heart. He knew that he had only minutes left to make history and save the life of a 55-year-old man by filling the gaping hole in his chest with a heart which had just been beating inside a 25-year-old woman.
Every Second Countsis the story of this gripping race to conquer the greatest of medical challenges. It also reveals the truth about the man at the centre of it all, whose turbulent life story was just as gripping. The kind of true story that would be dismissed as far-fetched if presented as fiction, it combines an utterly compelling portrait of cutting-edge science with raw human drama, and shows how the course of medicine itself was changed for ever.
Donald McRae is the award-winning author of eleven non-fiction books, which have featured sporting icons, legendary trial lawyers and heart surgeons. He has twice won the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year, for Dark Trade and In Black & White. He is a three-time Interviewer of the Year winner and has also won Sports Feature Writer of the Year on three separate occasions for his work in the Guardian. He lives in Hertfordshire.
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