2 December

Doctor No.1 image

It's the anniversary of the first artificial heart

So we are drinking a...

Doctor No.1

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30 years ago today a Seattle dentist named Barney Clark awoke from surgery he had known he was unlikely to survive, with a brand new heart in his chest. And, no, it wasn't a transplant. Clark's heart, the first permanent artificial heart to be tested on humans, was made of polyester, plastic and aluminium, and powered by a pump outside his body.

Clark survived for 112 days after his operation, every one of them in the hospital, and many of them battling infection. A second recipient lived longer - almost two years, in fact.

Sadly, though, no one took to the hearts. And today these artificial mechanisms are used only to keep folk alive for short periods during surgery or while awaiting transplants. We are toasting the brave Doctor Clark, and the talented doctors who treated him, with our take on our favourite of many classic cocktails named Doctor.

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