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Basque Country: When the gift of a dead saves lives



The boy's open chest reveals his beating heart. A heart of 24 years. A nice, sturdy heart. A living heart, taken from the body of a dead man. Boom, Boom, Boom … Nothing contains more of its regular impulses than what it sees in this block of the Bayonne Hospital Center. A surgeon came to Lille for him. 8:30: He "pinches", interrupting the blood supply to the organ. Ship by ship, it separates it from its first focus. 8:45, he holds the heart in his hands. In less than two hours, he will implant it in another body 1,000 kilometers away.

"With this heart, two kidneys, liver and pancreas, this donor supports five people ," says Dr. Pascal Mathieu. As a resuscitation leader, he heads the hospital's coordination office for organ harvesting. The day before, he and his team were in front of a family. In an office the father of the young man, his grandparents, his girlfriend, his closest friend. The accident happened …


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