Forty years ago today, surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, performed the first human heart transplant. Louis Washkansky lived 18 days with the new heart. Some 100 heart transplants were done over the next year, but the success rate was so low that the numbers dropped off drastically over the years. The person to live longest with a single transplanted heart is Tony Huesman, of Ohio, who received his new heart in 1978 at Stanford University; Dr. Norman Shumway, the first American surgeon to follow in Barnard's footsteps, conducted the surgery.
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