Surgery Head at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital Retires
Bethany Mouton believes she would not be alive today were it not for Professor Alastair Millar, the former head of paediatric surgery at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. Prof Millar retired from the position on January 31, 2013.
Bethany, who is now 15, underwent a liver transplant in 2000, because of Prof Millar's intervention.
"Prof Millar saved my life," she said. "When I needed a transplant he was the one who said I must not be taken off the transplant list."
Her mom, Estelle, said Bethany was a year old when she was put on the liver transplant list. Her health was in a very poor state and doctors were worried that she wouldn’t be well enough to undergo surgery. Prof Millar made the decision to keep her on the transplant list.
Bethany underwent a liver transplant on August 2, 2000, two days before her second birthday. Thirteen years later the feisty teenager still thinks of Prof Millar with fondness.
"I’m grateful that you never gave up," she said.
Prof Millar is an internationally lauded surgeon who worked for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for decades. He worked as the Head of Paediatric Surgery at the hospital for five years.
His successor, Professor Alp Numanoglu said: "It has been a great privilege to work with one of the giants of paediatric surgery for the last two decades. Prof Millar has contributed to major development to the field of paediatric surgery both nationally and internationally. He has been an outstanding leader, who saw the best in people working with him, allowed them to develop in their careers and achieve their goals. His contributions to the field of paediatric surgery have been recognised in Britain when he was awarded with the most prestigious Dennis Brown Medal in 2011."
Prof Millar pioneered liver transplantation in South Africa together with Professor Del Kahn of Groote Schuur Hospital.
"Seeing the small babies he operated on years ago returning to visit as qualified professionals has been a most wonderful experience," said Prof Numanoglu.
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital CEO, Dr Lungi Linda, said: "Prof Millar is one of the A-rated and most seasoned paediatric surgeons nationally and internationally. He has a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge that he has impacted on generations of registrars trained under his leadership, and on his colleagues. He excelled in the development of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital transplantation unit with his expertise mainly in liver transplant programmes for children in Africa. He has left a legacy at the hospital that will be carried forward by his successor, Prof Numanoglu."
Communications Officer: Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 021 658 5448
Cell: 084 568 1413