Design by guru design The most famous heart in history On that fateful day, on the 2nd December 1967, Denise Darvall and her mother stopped on Main Road, Salt River, to buy a cream cake for their afternoon tea visit.  As they were crossing over the road, they were run over by a drunk driver.  Shortly after the accident, (just a km from Groote Schuur) Ann Washkansky drove past the accident scene on her way back from visiting her dying husband. A sensitive woman, she averted her gaze, unaware that within 12 hours one of the broken bodies lying in the road would give her husband a heart and another chance at life. Mrs Washkansky hated the idea that in order for her husband to have a new heart somebody else would have to die. Worse still, she later regretted knowing who the donor was: “Knowing about that girl, and her life and her family, made it all so inhuman, somehow. My husband’s heart had an identity. It wasn’t just a piece of flesh anymore.” Indeed, Denise Darvall’s heart cannot be considered “just a piece of flesh” – it is arguably the most famous heart in history: the first heart selflessly donated to save a man’s life and a heart which subsequently, played a vital role in the advancement of medical knowledge. In recognition of this enormous act of generosity, the Heart of Cape Town Museum pays tribute to the Darvall family’s courage and honours the memory of Denise Darvall – a gentle and giving young woman. Reference: Hawthorne, P. 1968. The Transplanted Heart. Keartland Publishers. Johannesburg. Copyright (c) | | All rights reserved