Respected retired surgeon Bett Mckenzie dies, aged 82

2015-07-13 10:14
Dr Malcolm Bett Mckenzie

Dr Malcolm Bett Mckenzie (Supplied)

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RESPECTED local surgeon Dr Malcolm Bett Mckenzie has died after a short battle with cancer at the age of 82.

Bett Mckenzie was well-known in the Pietermaritzburg community where he worked for nearly 40 years.

His wife of 55 years, Denise, said he was a keen Rotarian for many years.

“He was an extremely compassionate man who was very intelligent and extremely dedicated,” she said.

Bett McKenzie was diagnosed with lung cancer just five weeks before his death and died peacefully in Hillcrest Private Hospital on Friday.

He obtained his medical degree at the University of Cape Town and was the first recipient of the Douglas Gold Medal for his specialist exams in surgery.

After obtaining his doctorate in surgery, he was awarded the Nuffield Fellowship and worked both in the United Kingdom and at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

He worked closely with Professor Chris Barnard, who performed the world’s first heart-transplant, doing research on open heart surgery and was integrally involved in the development of the first artificial heart valves.

Denise said he enjoyed over 30 years of successful and fulfilling surgical practice in Pietermaritzburg.

“He was a very spiritual man and despite his age he was very involved in the church,” Denise said.

Bett McKenzie is survived by his wife, three daughters, all of whom are qualified doctors, and his three grandchildren.

“All our daughters were inspired by their father into becoming doctors. He was an exemplary husband and father. He was the best, we could not have asked for better,” she said.

His funeral will be held tomorrow at 2 pm, at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Hillcrest

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  surgeon

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