1968: Canada's first heart transplant
• Murphy died 41 hours later from complications from the donor's heart being too small to maintain Murphy's blood pressure.
• The world's first open heart transplant operation took place on Dec. 3, 1967, in South Africa. Dr. Christiaan Barnard headed a team of 30 doctors and nurses during a nine-hour surgery on 55-year-old Louis Washkansky. The recipient lived for 18 days.
• South African Philip Blaiberg, Dr. Barnard's second patient who is mentioned in the radio clip, lived for 19 months with his new heart.
• On Aug. 3, 1989, Dr. Wilbert Keon of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute performed the first Canadian neo-natal heart transplant on an 11-day-old infant. For more on this story visit CBC Archives: New heart for newborn baby
• By 1987, thanks to advances in medicine, particularly cyclosporine which reduces the risk of organ rejection, 80 per cent of patients lived at least one year. Some have survived more than 10 years with new hearts.
• Currently (2006) more than 3,000 transplants are performed each year worldwide.
Also on May 31:
1578: Martin Frobisher sets sail from England with a fleet of 15 ships, on a voyage that leads to the discovery of Hudson Strait.
1935: The David Dunlap Observatory officially opens in Richmond Hill, Ont. It has a 1.88m reflector telescope.
1972: Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announces the introduction of Canadian bravery awards, plus a third level of the Order of Canada: "Member."
1977: Canadian Wheat Board sells China 3 million tons of wheat, valued at $330 million Cdn.
1997: The Confederation Bridge linking Prince Edward Island to the mainland opens to traffic.
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: May 31, 1968
Guest(s): Pierre Grondin, Lebea Murphy
Host: John O'Leary, Bill Paul
Reporter: Jan Lazowski
Last updated: May 22, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
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