Change of Heart
2017 50 minutes
The world’s first heart transplant, Performed in 1967, the operation was led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard and assisted by his brother, Dr. Marius Barnard.
The Operation that Changed the World.
For a dying person, a transplant is not a difficult decision. If a lion chases you to a river filled with crocodiles, you will leap into the water convinced you have a chance to swim to the other side. But you would never accept such odds if there were no lion."
- Christiaan Barnard
Filmmaker daughter of Doctor Marius Barnard, Naudene Leisegang hopes that in making this documentary, she can tell the real story behind one of the most significant events in medical history: the world’s first heart transplant, and in doing so pay tribute to all those involved. She has scoured the country in search of the surviving members of the transplant team, who revisit memories of that fateful night in exclusive interviews at the Heart of Cape Town museum. She has also enlisted Chris ‘daughter, Deirdre Visser, to tell the story on behalf of her father.
Performed in 1967, The operation was led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard and assisted by his brother, Dr. Marius Barnard.
Now, half a century after the ground-breaking procedure, Marius has spoken in depth for the first time about what really happened. In an exclusive interview filmed just before his passing in November 2014, Marius reveals his side of this incredible story of triumph, fame and political intrigue.
The film will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant in 2017. It will explore how fame and fortune affected the Barnard brotherly bond, examine the operation’s legacy and how today’s successful heart transplants owe so much to these early pioneers.
Companies involved in this production