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Landmark transplant performed in 1960s Virginia with heart stolen from a black man



On May 25, 1968, surgeons in Richmond, Virginia performed a successful operation heart Transplant, one of the world’s first, on a white businessman. The heart they used was taken from a black patient named Bruce Tucker, who had been rushed to the hospital the day before, unconscious and with a broken skull traumatic brain injury. Less than 24 hours later, he was pronounced brain dead.

Tucker’s still beating heart was then removed without his family’s knowledge or prior permission; Her horrified discovery – by the local funeral director – that Tucker’s heart was missing was a disastrous blow.


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