Every Second Counts: Book summary and reviews of Every Second Counts by Donald McRae

Every Second Counts

The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart

by Donald McRae

Every Second Counts by Donald McRae

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Book Summary

Many people remember the beaming face of Christiaan Barnard, the South African surgeon, after he performed the first human heart transplant, and captured the world's imagination. It was a stunning achievement, but he was not alone. In truth it was a four-way race, a fierce struggle fraught with passionate rivalry. The other three surgeons-Adrian Kantrowitz, Norman Shumway, and Richard Lower-were giants in the field, and by early December 1967 they and Barnard were each poised to snatch the victor's laurels. Each had spent years perfecting techniques that would lead to a successful heart transplant; each had monitored his chosen patient's condition, watching the clock, hoping a donor would be found in time.

Some of these men were friends; others were enemies. Only one of them would be the first.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review...[a] top-notch journalistic feat." - PW.
"While the outcome is known from the beginning, the author's account of the experiments and research that preceded it and his focus on the participants make for a dramatic read." - Kirkus.

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