We all need people to look up to.

Chris Barnard is one of my role models – has been since the day the minions and I visited the Heart Transplant Museum at Groote Schuur Hospital. A life changing experience for me. See the previous blog post: Chris Barnard #Legend . Significantly, he defined what being alive is for me. He said “Life is the joy of living – it’s the celebration of being alive” (from the YouTube clip featured in my previous post).

I believe he worked really hard for all that he achieved. His studies (and thereby essentially what he was able to give to humankind), didn’t come without significant personal sacrifice. Amid his trials and his failures but also his great success, his plain human nature was very apparent. His temperamental side, his sense of humour, his humility, his daring nature and his mischievous streak. That’s living damnit! Through the life that he lived, he made a difference.

Today is the 50th anniversary of “that difference” – the first heart transplant that took place in the world. Whenever I think about events around the day, it STILL completely inspires me. Prof Barnard, a Son of South African soil – a child from the Karoo, without an especially extraordinary or privileged upbringing considering the community he was born into, gave us all something to aspire to. A story of hope, a story of courage and a story that effort yields reward. Testimony of the human spirit.

Not disregarding that there were a number of people who made this part of history possible – I truly applaud them all. Chris Barnard was the leader though, that person who demonstrated the courage and led the way.

Today I pay tribute to you again Prof….. May you Rest in Peace