In the months leading to the commemoration of the first heart transplant performed by Dr Chris Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital 50 years ago, there has been intense engagement with the media.

Against the background of the transplant, news included stories about the iconic event, about the progress in heart surgery, and about the need for theatres and equipment to maintain the standards of excellence and innovation at the hospital.

Heart wrenching accounts of the wait for transplants, in people as young as 25 years, highlighted the desperate need for organ donation in an environment where Groote Schuur Hospital is the only public sector hospital where heart transplants are being done.