2 Hamilton Naki, a black South-African aged 78, died in mai 2005. The news was not reported in the press, but his story is of one of the most remarkable of the de XXth century.NAKI WAS a GREAT SURGEON!
3 It was a very delicate task: the heart had to be removed with the greatest care and then stored. It was he who in 1967 removed the heart from a female donor, the heart was then transplanted into the body of Louis Washkanky, the first successful heart transplant on a man in Cape Town.
4 NAkI was the second most important man in the team that performed the first heart transplant in history. But he could never appear, because he was black in the land of apartheid .
5 The chief surgeon of the team, the white Dr. Christian Barnard, immediately became a celebrity.
6 Hamilton Naki was not allowed to appear on photos with the team Hamilton Naki was not allowed to appear on photos with the team. If he accidentally got on such a picture, the hospital said he was a member of the cleaning service
7 Naki was wearing the surgical cap and mask, but he had never studied medicine or surgery. He had left school at the age of 14. He was a gardener at the School of Medicine in Cape Town ..
8 He began by cleaning the classrooms, but he was curious and learned quickly. He learned the surgical technique by observing the white doctors who performed transplants on dogs and pigs
9 He became an exceptional surgeon such that Dr. Barnard wanted him on his team.
10 That was a problem with the laws in South Africa That was a problem with the laws in South Africa. Naki, a black man, could not operate on Caucasian patients or touch their blood.
11 But the hospital considered him so skilled that they made an exception for him. They made him a surgeon ... but a secret one.
12 But that did not interest him But that did not interest him. He pursued his studies and gave his best, regardless of racial discrimination..
13 He was the best. He taught white students, but had a lab technician's salary, the maximum that a hospital could pay to a black.
14 He lived in a shack without electricity or running water, in a ghetto in the periphery, as befitted a black.
15 Hamilton Naki taught surgery for 40 years and retired as a gardener, with a pension of $ 275 per month.
16 When apartheid ended, he received a decoration and the title of doctor honoris causa
17 Christian Barnard Hamilton Naki Nobody ever pointed to the injustice that was done to him during his whole life.
18 Despite the secrecy and the racial discrimination he continued to give the best of himself with his love to help with life.
19 Dr. Naki, THANKS for everything you have done for humanity outside your own interests. Pass this on so they know who was Hamilton Naki, a wonderful doctor and an extraordinary human being.