Surgery: End & Beginning

Eighteen days after Louis Washkansky received history's first transplant of a human heart, the Cape Town grocer died of double pneumonia. The underlying cause of the process that ended in death was clouded and likely to become the subject of medical dispute, but one thing was clear: it was not the failure of the transplanted heart. To the last, that organ functioned with a surprisingly strong and regular beat.

The complications that eventually killed Washkansky, 55, began twelve days after he had received the heart of Denise Ann Darvall, 25. He first...

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