The King of Hearts: aka Sir Magdi Yacoub


Inspired by his father, Magdi Yacoub decided to be a doctor, and the death of his aunt due to a heart disease motivated him to specialize as a cardiac surgeon. He studied medicine at Cairo University, then he moved to London. After more than 40 years of hard work and success, Dr. Magdi Yacoub is now one of the world’s leading cardiac surgeons. He was awarded the UK Order of Merit and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to medicine and surgery, becoming the first Egyptian to receive this prestigious award.

The Egyptian surgeon established the largest heart and lung transplantation program in the world, where more than 2500 transplant operations have been performed. As a result, Harefield Hospital in London became a leading transplant center, performing 200 operations per year under Yacoub’s leadership. Sir Yacoub pioneered techniques that include tissue engineering heart valves, novel left ventricular assist devices, myocardial regeneration, and wireless sensors for heart patients. Moreover, he developed a procedure for switching heart vessels for babies with congenital heart defects.

Sir Yacoub has an active interest in global healthcare delivery with particular focus on developing programs in Egypt, the Gulf Region, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Jamaica. He founded the Chain of Hope charity, which provides children suffering from life-threatening diseases in the developing world with corrective surgery and treatment.

The Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation (MYF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 2008 by Sir Magdi Yacoub with Professor Ahmed Zewail and Ambassador Dr. Mohammed Shaker. This NGO provides completely free-of-charge medical services in the field of cardiovascular diseases to patients in need in Egypt. He is also the Founder and Director of Magdi Yacoub Research Network, which has created the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Center in collaboration with Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation. That is all in addition to the Aswan Heart Center in Egypt, which was founded in 2009 to combat heart disease in Egypt.

At the age of 65, Dr. Yacoub retired performing surgeries for the National Health Service in London. Now, Professor Yacoub continues to work as an ambassador and consultant for transplant surgery and performs cardiac surgeries on children through his charity, the Chain of Hope. He is also leading a British medical team of 75 scientists looking for new ways to improve heart transplantation and repair damaged hearts using stem cells. They believe that stem cells can develop into specific kinds of cells such as heart cells. Sir Yacoub hopes that these heart cells can be used to help the damaged heart regenerate itself and repair its own function.


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