Prof Chris Barnard’s Farewell

At the airport yesterday I saw a new book on Professor Chris Barnard by James-Brent Styan: ‘Heartbreaker’.

It’s fifty years since the world’s first heart transplant and the famous surgeon and playboy is in the news again, as people use the anniversary to look back afresh . .

A while ago I had found Aitch’s 1983 diary. Her entries to record her overtime as a cardiovascular perfusionist assisting during heart ops had abbreviations likes “palliative VSD 1.5hrs; MVR 1.5hrs; CVG”.

One of her entries in December was ’17h00 Wed 14 Dec Farewell for CNB, Nurses Lounge, Clarendon House’. I knew that CNB meant Christiaan Neethling Barnard as she worked with him at the time. She would run the heart-lung machine to oxygenate the blood while he and the other surgeons worked on the patient’s heart.

I had time before my flight so I  thought I wonder if they have anything about his retirement in the book? and flipped through it.

And there she was on page 216:

Aitch Prof Chris Barnard (2)

So I had to buy it to show the pic to Jess and Tom. Jess said “Cool”; Tom shrugged: “We knew Mom was famous!”

Aitch Prof Chris Barnard (1)
– there she is! –

~~~oo0oo~~~

A few years prior to this, Jess had been able to Show and Tell her classmates about her Mom.

Fame! Riches! The Life of Aitch

Hey, they’re making a movie on the life of heart surgeon Professor Chris Barnard.

Sunday, 3 December 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant, so they obviously want to cash in on that.

Aitch worked with him till he retired. On 14 December 1983 she went to his farewell. She wrote this in her diary. CNB – Christiaan Neethling Barnard: (Later: A new book had a picture taken at the farewell!).

Aitch Diary (2)
Aitch & Barnard at the heart-lung machine
Barnard & Aitch
Olga Kurylenko Bond girl

I wonder who they’ll get to play Aitch? Maybe Olga Kurylenko, Bond girl in Quantum of Solace?

And I wonder what percentage we’ll get of the gross earnings? Surely they won’t cut her kids out of the proceeds?

.

Barnard wrote a book One Life. If I wrote a book on Aitch I’d call it One Wife.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Later: A new book published shortly after this post featured Aitch!