Remembering St Anne’s Dr Schutte

2017-05-11 14:23
Dr Daniel Schutte was St Anne’s hospital’s head cardiologist and also worked at Grey’s Hospital.

Dr Daniel Schutte was St Anne’s hospital’s head cardiologist and also worked at Grey’s Hospital. (Facebook)

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Fond memories and touching stories were shared at the memorial of Netcare St Anne’s head cardiologist on Wednesday following his unexpected death on Monday.

Dr Daniel Schutte, a cardiologist for both St Anne’s Hospital and Grey’s Hospital, was found dead at his home in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

Nurses, doctors, friends and former patients of the “quiet, humble” doctor filled Grey’s Hospital chapel on Wednesday morning to pay tribute to the cardiologist who was said to have made a great impact in the year since he had started working in Pietermaritzburg.

St Anne’s Hospital manager Louis Joubert said at the memorial that the hospital staff were “blessed” to have worked with him, although he had only worked at the hospital for a year. “I met him towards the end of 2015 and his humility and honesty really struck me,” said a teary-eyed Joubert.

“He was loved in the ward and respected by his colleagues and appreciated by every single one of his colleagues. In his short time at St Anne’s, he saved so many lives and made a big impact on the staff.

“Two weeks ago, a family friend of mine had a cardiac event and it is thanks to Dr Schutte that he is alive and well today,” he said.

“He was a private person and a man of few words but he didn’t have to say a lot because his actions spoke for him and he was respected and admired within the hospital.”

Joubert said the full chapel was a testimony to how he was admired and respected among his colleagues.

“His ability to save lives shone through and his death is an immense loss to St Anne’s and the Pietermaritzburg community.”

Schutte’s son, Sean, spoke at the memorial, apologising that his two brothers could not make it and thanking all who had attended the memorial.

Sean said his father was born in Pretoria and studied medicine at the University of Pretoria.

He said he specialised at Wits University and in 1999 went to the UK to further his studies in cardiology.

“He had practices in various places until he ended up at St Anne’s,” said Sean.

He said his father was an “intense academic” as well as “an absolute gentleman”.

“Everyone has told me what a great man he was and the love he had for his patients was unmatched. He had an intense need to help people,” he said.

Sean said his father had started work at St Anne’s and also worked at Grey’s Hospital without being paid because he wanted to help people.

“My dad was a great father. He helped us with our studies but also had time for sport. I remember playing cricket with him as a child in the back garden,” said an emotional Sean­.

“If my father was here, he would ask that his good work be continued.

“I know he is resting and he finished his race well,” he said.

A former patient of Schutte’s, John Tungay, also attended the memorial and said Schutte had saved his life.

“I had gone to the doctor because I had a hernia,” he said.

“The nurse ran an ECG [electrocardiogram that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart] and she turned a strange shade of green when she saw the results. She told me I should not be alive and I was referred to Dr Schutte who was the most thorough person I had ever met.”

Tungay said Schutte had given him a second chance at life and he could not be more grateful or appreciative of all Schutte had done for him.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said Schutte’s death was due to natural causes. He said an inquest docket had been opened.


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