Live heart-op patient 'doing well'

Gauteng businessman Waldemar Katzke, who underwent single-bypass open-heart surgery on live national television on Saturday, is “doing well” in the Milpark Hospital’s intensive-care unit.

Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) spokesperson Michelle Kearney said on Sunday that Katzke, known as Wally, is expected to spend six days in hospital after the surgery.

Katzke had agreed to have his surgery televised as part of the HSFSA’s “Meet Wally’s Heart” project aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge of cardiovascular disease due to poor lifestyle choices.

“A heavy smoker who led a sedentary lifestyle, Katzke had suffered a mild heart attack in 1999 and had a stent inserted at the age of 44 to enable his clogged arteries to pump blood and oxygen more efficiently.

“His continued poor lifestyle, which included skipping breakfast and lunch, consuming too much red meat and too little fruit and vegetables ... no physical exercise, smoking heavily” made his heart condition deteriorate, Kearney said.

“Wally” was the first heart patient to tell his cardiovascular story on SABC3’s 3 Talk show hosted by Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu.

The surgery was performed by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Martin Sussman.

During the broadcast viewers were able to see the surgery via a live video insert in the corner of their television screens.—Sapa

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