An exhibition exploring New Zealand’s ground breaking role in international heart surgery is currently on in Rotorua.
This is the first time Brave Hearts – The New Zealand Cardiac Story has been on show outside of Auckland, and it is outside Te Aka Mauri in Jean Batten Square (Haupapa Street) until 5 March 2019.
Celebrating the New Zealand cardiac story, Brave Hearts is an exhibition developed by the Auckland Medical Museum Trust with support from Auckland University of Technology, which explains how the heart works, how heart disease is investigated and the largely untold story of New Zealand’s leading role in the evolution of heart surgery.
Rotorua’s Rotary West club has played in integral part in bringing the exhibition to Rotorua and club member Brett Marvelly believes it showcases a special piece of New Zealand history.
“New Zealand were world leaders in heart surgery in the 1960s and continue to be so today. The exhibition is full of inspiring stories of innovative cardiac procedures that were developed in New Zealand, alongside some moving stories of the heart patients they operated on”, says Mr Marvelly.
Children are free to enter the exhibition and the gold coin koha from adults will be donated to charity.
Displays with interactive models demonstrate normal heart function, what could go wrong and what can be done to diagnose and correct heart problems. The exhibition delves into the inspiring stories behind New Zealand’s first open-heart operation, the cooling of children’s hearts to allow life-saving surgery and the innovation which led to replacing damaged heart valves.
Visitors can also learn more about the recipients of ground-breaking heart care such as Helen Harris and former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew. Almost fifty-nine years ago ten-year-old New Zealander Helen Arnold (now Harris) became the first person in New Zealand to undergo heart-lung bypass surgery. This remarkable medical achievement was just one of a number of ground breaking procedures developed by the small team of heroic clinicians at Auckland’s Green Lane Hospital.
During term time the exhibition will be open to the public from 3pm until 6pm on weekdays. Weekends and school holidays the exhibition will be open from 9am until 6pm. The exhibition will be closed on public holidays.
This special exhibition has been brought to Rotorua by Rotary Rotorua West with the support of Rotorua Lakes Council, Four Winds Foundation and One Foundation.