SA TV First: Watch open-heart surgery live

2008-07-28 00:00

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa (HSFSA) has announced it is to televise a live broadcast of a single-bypass open-heart operation on national television this Saturday.

The groundbreaking programme forms part of the HSFSA’s Meet Wally’s Heart Project, a one-week initiative aimed at getting South Africans to sit up and take notice of the very real threat of cardiovascular disease stemming from poor lifestyle choices.

Michelle Kearney, director of communications of the HSFSA, said the live surgery would be broadcast in a special transmission of SABC 3’s 3 Talk with Noeleen on Saturday between 8 pm and 10 pm.

The programme follows Wally Katzke, a smoker and unhealthy eater who ignored doctors’ advice to change his lifestyle and who now hopes others will learn from his mistakes.

He has been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and the show sees him undergoing pre-surgery tests, expert consultation and finally single-bypass open-heart surgery, all within a week.

Updates and expert advice will be provided to viewers throughout the process on 3 Talk’s episodes this week leading up to the surgery on Saturday.

The surgery will be broadcast live from Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, with a camera crew inside the operating theatre for the duration of the single bypass.

Kearney said that rather than being sensationalist, the process is being handled in an extremely sensitive manner and that the integrity of the project and, most importantly the patient’s right to be treated with dignity, will be upheld at all times.

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