Although this picture was taken already in 1987, in never fails to impress. Depicted is the Polish heart surgeon Dr. Zbigniew Religa during a 23-hour operation, while he keeps watch on a monitor tracking the vital signs of a heart-transplant patient. His assistent is asleep in the corner.
The photographer, James L. Stanfield, was looking for the perfect shot to portray not only a extraordinary medical moment, but also the many problems associated with a free health-care system Poland had at the time.
Religa later became the Polish Minister of Health. He died in 2009 of lung cancer as he, ironically, was a lifetime smoker.
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