First heart transplanted
The second heart transplant took place in the country's capital on March 23, thirty years after the first failed attempt. This time it was successful. "The transplant involved ten doctors, and we are happy to say that the patient is doing fine now," said Viliam Fischer, the head of the surgical team, one day after the operation. "There were no complications during the surgery, but it is very early to predict what will happen later." The patient, Štefan B., a 58-year old male who had an enlarged heart with a malfunctioning left chamber, regained conciousness six hours after the transplant. The donor was a 42-year old man. The first Slovak heart transplant took place in Bratislava in 1968, one year after Christian Barnard had done it in Cape Town, South Africa, for the first time. The woman who received the implant died one day after surgery. Karol Šiška, the 92-year old surgeon who had been part of the 1968 attempt, evaluated his colleagues' accomplishment simply: "It's a great thing."
Son brutally murdered his father
A 60-year old man was brutally murdered by his 26-year old son in this eastern Slovak city of 33,000 on March 19. Early next morning several Romany women, while searching through garbage containers outside a shopping mall, found parts of a male body. The police later recovered two sacks. One contained a man's arms and legs, while the rest of his body was in the other sack. The police reported that the man was first strangled, then dissected and taken to the garbage containers. At first, the police thought that the underworld was involved in the murder. But further investigation showed that the perpetrator was the man's own son. According to neighbors, the problems between the two were of a long-lasting nature.
Club for overly tall expands
An unusual club for exceedingly tall people in this town of 240,000 has accepted five new members, who had to fulfil a simple height requirement - "to be taller than average". The club now has 35 members from the Košice region. The tallest man is 17-year old Tomáš Gernát, at 205 centimeters, while the tallest girl is 20-year old Jana Kaločayová at 188 centimeters. Club members say their unusual height is not always an easy thing to deal with. "I'm at the point where it doesn't bother me so much anymore," said Gernát. "But I do have problem finding things to wear, shoes, even finding a bed I can fit in, and it does not help in dating either. Height is not as attractive as some may think." The club has recently tried to establish contacts with representatives of clothing and shoe manufacturers, but has met with only limited success so far. The only industry representative to show up for the meeting, the director of Baťa's Košice branch office, got an earful from club members about how impossible it is to be overly tall.
Compiled by Andrea Lörinzová