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World famous patron to address cardiac support group

Date Released: Wed, 30 January 2013 17:59 +0200

The revitalised Garden Route Cardiac Support Group (GRCSG) is fortunate to have as its patron the Bishops' old boy, Professor Robert Frater who has consented to address the group at its second public meeting in the Methodist Church Hall, Plantation Road, Glenbarrie, George on Thursday 7 February at 17:00 for 17:30.

Prof. Frater (84), now based in the United States, was the first surgeon in the world to succeed in the replacement of aortic valves which he did by using pigs' valves years ago in the United States. Since then he has been closely associated with the development of prostheses which have been through various experimental phases.

Pigs' valves were substituted at one point by metallic valves but today the preferred prosthesis is made of the tough skin that encases the heart of an ox. Prof. Frater has a commercial interest in the manufacture of such prostheses which takes place in Irene close to Pretoria. Prof Frater, now an adviser on health matters to the United States Government, has a holiday house in Glentana.

His experience and knowledge of cardiac surgery dates back to assisting Christiaan Barnard with the first heart transplants at Groote Schuur Hospital before accepting a post in the States where he has become perhaps the most widely acclaimed cardiac surgeon in the world and the author of hundreds of publications and speeches on cardiac surgery worldwide.

He is married to Elaine (née Nagle) formerly of Zimbabwe, who is herself an outstanding graduate of Rhodes University and they have two sons both in professions in the United States. Prof Frater will speak on the development of cardiac surgery over the last half century and the paramount importance of cardiac support in the subsequent treatment of cardiac patients.

Refreshments will be served and facilities will be available at the hall from 17:00 for individuals to join the Garden Route Cardiac Support Group at R50 per annum per adult or R25 for the partner of a member. Meetings will be open to members at no cost but entry for non members will be RIO.

Persons wanting to book seats at the meeting are advised to SMS the secretary, Wendy Thompson on 083 375 3353.