February brings with it a powerful reminder to prioritize matters of the heart. It kicks off with American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day and brings us Valentine’s Day, a celebration of love and affection.
All activities such as promoting heart-healthy lifestyles, expanding access to quality health care, and breaking new bounds in heart disease research and treatment are encouraged during February.
It is fitting, then, to take this opportunity to shine a light on the accomplished individuals who have launched humanitarian initiatives and made medical contributions to the field of heart surgery that have impacted and saved thousands of lives. One such individual is heart surgeon Magdi Yacoub.
“I love the heart… It’s such a beautiful, efficient, noble organ.”—Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, widely known as “The Heart Savior.”
The American University in Cairo Press (AUC Press) encourages readers everywhere to think about the heart and to get inspired by the world-renowned “Heart Savior” by reading the first authorized biography of this world-leading and prolific heart surgeon, A Surgeon and a Maverick: The Life and Pioneering Work of Magdi Yacoub, by Simon Pearson and Fiona Gorman.
Sir Magdi Yacoub is known for his development of novel operations for several complex congenital heart anomalies, for the establishment of the world’s largest heart and lung transplantation program at Harefield Hospital in the United Kingdom, and for being the founder of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation in Egypt, which offers free-of-charge medical services to underprivileged and vulnerable people.
“Chronicling his remarkable journey from Belbeis, an ancient fortress city on the Nile delta, to becoming one of the world’s most famous Egyptians . . . the book not only lays bare his surgical successes but also the challenges he faced along the way.”—Camilla Tominey, The Telegraph
In 1983, Sir Magdi Yacoub successfully performed Europe’s first combined heart-and-lung transplant on Lars Lunjberg, a 33-year-old Swedish journalist and took the first steps in paving the way for modern cardiac advancements. "His legacy is one of innovation and saved lives."—Victoria Macdonald, Channel 4 News
More recently, this February brought with it a new accolade for Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, when he was awarded the 2024 Zayed Award for Human Fraternity at a ceremony on February 5, in Abu Dhabi.
A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, Egypt