Prof. Joseph Borman, Hadassah Medical Center cardiothoracic surgeon, who performed Israel’s first heart transplant, tells the story of his personal and professional life in a newly published autobiography, entitled Open Hearts: Memoirs of a Cardiac Surgeon.

Originally from South Africa, Prof. Borman, who lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Ruth, of 58 years, had visited the Hadassah Medical Center during a trip to Israel to see a 10th anniversary of Independence exhibition. He met with then Deputy Director General Dr. Jack Karpas, a former South African, who immediately offered Prof. Borman a position in cardiothoracic surgery. Prof. Borman went on to serve as head of Hadassah’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Department for 25 years. His second heart transplant patient, still living at the publication of the book, is one of the longest surviving heart transplant patients in the world. The patient’s tradition has been to call Prof. Borman before each Jewish New Year and Passover holiday to wish him well.

In his autobiography’s epilogue, Prof. Borman, now 85, writes: “I wish to be remembered as an individual who carried out his allotted time on this earth to the best of his ability in the most humane fashion.” Read more in The Jerusalem Post at