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Christian Cabrol 1925-2017

links imageChristian Cabrol, renowned pioneer of cardiac and pulmonary transplantation, and ISHLT President 1991-92, died on June 16th 2017. He had been ill for a number of months and spent his last days in his own hospital, Pitié-Salpêtrière.

Cabrol was born in 1925, and educated in Paris. He trained in thoracic and then cardiac surgery, spending a year with Lillehei in the USA. He came to prominence when, in 1968, he performed the first cardiac transplant in Europe. His patient lived only 53 hours, but he persisted when others hesitated, seeing clearly the potential for great impact. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, Shumway's team at Stanford and Cabrol's group in Paris were almost alone in keeping heart transplantation alive.

Always in the vanguard, Cabrol went on to perform the first heart and lung transplant in Europe in 1982, and then in 1986 the first implant of the Jarvik 7 total artificial heart.

Cabrol was always welcoming, a great friend to many, supporter of colleagues around the world and influential teacher to many young surgeons. President of our Society in 1991-92, he was still active when ISHLT met in Paris in 2009. A video interview with him at that time can be seen in the ISHLT Archives (http://www.ishlt.org/historyandArchives/videoInterviews.asp).

He spent much of his later life active in politics, as a councilor in Paris, member of the European Parliament and finally deputy Mayor of Paris, 1995-2001. Christian Cabrol was a charming Frenchman, a pioneer surgeon and a friend to many who will be remembered with tremendous fondness.

On behalf of the entire ISHLT membership, we send our condolences to his family whilst also celebrating his enormous contribution to our global thoracic transplant community. ■

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