Author(s): Donald McRae
The dramatic race to transplant the first human heart spanned two years, three continents and five cities against a backdrop of searing tension, scientific brilliance, ethical controversy, racial strife and emotional turmoil. It culminated in a terrifying moment in the early hours of 3 December 1967 when, in a cramped operating theatre in a Cape Town hospital, Professor Chris Barnard stared into an empty cavity from which he had just removed a heart. He knew that he had only minutes left to make history and save the life of a 55-year-old man by filling the gaping hole in his chest with a heart which had just been beating inside a 25-year-old woman. EVERY SECOND COUNTS is the story of this gripping race to conquer the greatest of medical challenges. The kind of true story that would be dismissed as far-fetched if presented as fiction, it combines an utterly compelling portrait of cutting-edge science with raw human drama, and shows how the course of medicine itself was changed for ever.
Donald McRae was born in South Africa in 1961. He has lived in London since 1984 and has written for the GUARDIAN, THE SUNDAY TIMES, the OBSERVER and ESQUIRE. He is the author of three books, NOTHING PERSONAL, DARK TRADE, winner of William Hill, 1996, and WINTER COLOURS, shortlisted for the William Hill, 1998.