PMB hospital reaches heart surgery milestone

2007-12-04 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S only cardiac unit, at NetCare St Anne’s Hospital, has performed 51 open-heart operations with a 100% success record since it opened in June.

The milestone coincided with the 40th anniversary of the first heart transplant, performed in Cape Town by Chris Barnard.

In the past, patients from the city had to travel to Durban for treatment.

Ward 28 councillor Lesley Naidoo was one of two patients to be operated on yesterday morning.

Naidoo (54) was initially scheduled to be operation number 50, but became the 51st, because of an emergency case.

“I’m very well … I had pain in my chest but they have given me medication for that,” said a drowsy Naidoo, who was getting ready for surgery.

He said he was nervous at first when he found out he had to have a bypass, but he was assured by doctors, the hospital staff and members of the public that “it was as easy as ABC”.

Loshini, Naidoo’s wife, said her husband first had chest pains around May, during a time of family heartache.

The doctor detected that Naidoo’s arteries were thinning, thus blocking the blood’s free flow into the heart, she said.

“He was fine for a while after that but lately he has been getting the chest pains back … I’m very nervous, but I’m praying everything goes well. God has never let me down.”

Naidoo had nothing but praise for the hospital staff at St Anne’s.

“All I can say is, viva St Anne’s. It has a good band of nurses who care for the up-keep of the sick and the frail.

“From the cleaners, right to people at the top they have all been outstanding … when you ask a cleaner to assist you with something, they don’t call the nurse, they assist where they can,” he said.

“If I ever use hospital facilities again, I won’t go anywhere else. They have the expertise and are fully equipped to carry out their work. My advice would be for people to exploit it, instead of travelling off to other places. The medication is always on time. They give of their best and I think other hospitals can learn from this. I really salute their dedication,” said Naidoo.

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