Professor Magdi Yacoub is a world-famous heart surgeon. He was born in Egypt in the village of Belbis in 1935, the son of a surgeon who worked in different places around the country. The family had to move every few years, so Yacoub learnt to adapt to different situations and enjoyed meeting different people. When his aunt died because of a heart problem, He decided to become a heart surgeon. He studied medicine at Cairo University and qualified in 1957. In the 1960s, he taught at Chicago University in the USA and worked with many of the world's best heart surgeons. Now he had the qualifications and experience to do great things. In 1973, he became a heart surgeon at Harefield Hospital in England. Under his leadership, Harefield became the most important transplant centre in the country.
In the early 1980s, he was part of the team which did the first British heart transplant operation. At this time, he travelled thousands of kilometers in small planes and helicopters to find healthy hearts for transplants. Yacoub became professor of Heart Surgery at London University in 1986. Although he retired as a surgeon in 2001, he continued to research new treatments. Recently he was part of team which made new heart parts from human cells.
If you ask why he continuous to work in his 70s, he will say that he believes he can make a difference to people's lives. For this reason, he works for a charity in Africa which helps children with heart problems.
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