In the dark years of apartheid, a boy grew up in a household with a terrible secret: although they were all of mixed origins, they had managed to ‘pass as white.’ Young Winston Wicomb, however, was far too dark to fit in and had to be hidden whenever someone knocked on their door. After struggling through school and even managing to obtain an university degree, he still remained unemployed due to his skin color. To make ends meet, he serviced cars in their backyard but never stopped dreaming about escaping the restraints of Apartheid.
Then fate intervened. While distributing pamphlets advertising his mechanical skills, he found Professor Chris Barnard stranded next to the road. He offered to help even though he had no experience with the new Mercedes the professor drove. Barnard, surprised at the success of Winston’s efforts and impulsive as ever, offered Winston a job in his research lab. It is here that Winston applied his knowledge and experience of matters mechanical to eventually produce the world’s first apparatus to transport a living heart over long distances.
Vital Remains tells to story of an unlikely hero, a huge risk, achievement … and love.
Amos van der Merwe retired from medical practice to pursue a life-long dream of writing. His short stories and articles have appeared in ‘Runner’s World, ‘ ‘Leisure Wheel, s’ and various other magazines and publications. His two previous biographies about prominent South African personalities and his other five books of fiction all received extremely favorable reviews. Amos now lives in an isolated estate on South Africa’s Garden Route coast with a family of francolins as neighbors. He writes because he believes words can be used to change the world into a happier place.
Winston Wicomb has over sixty publications with the major focus of his work in heart preservation. He received his PhD in Medical Biochemistry from Cape Town University, South Africa. Following a distinguished career where he served as a Principal Investigator of California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, Department of Transplantation, San Francisco; Wicomb now serves as Director/Senior Scientist at the Infectious Disease Research Institute, Seattle, Washington.