This is a story of the power of perseverance and love. A man named Kevin Lue was triathlete who developed a rare disease that caused his heart to fail. In a matter of months he went from intense competition to barely being able to walk. He needed a heart transplant. In addition to his new heart, he got a whole lot more.
Hamilton Naki became a self-taught surgeon of such skill that Dr. Christiaan Barnard chose him to assist in the world's first human heart transplant in 1967. His contribution was kept secret for three decades because he was a black man in apartheid-era South Africa. He acquired his surgical skills through years of silent observation and covert practice at the university's medical school. His skills were so esteemed that the university quietly looked the other way.
What looks like a prop from a steampunk movie is actually a partially decellularized heart in a bioreactor. And this heart has the potential to save the lives of heart attack patients, and, one day, people who need heart transplants too.