Long before I was No. 216 to receive a donor heart at the CBMH, I was me, Raymond, Ray
My favourite person in the world and my life partner, best friend and confidante, who has walked every difficult step with me through my illness and treatment, plumbed the depths and soared the heights with me.
Top of the mountain, Table Mountain
Son and father
My favourite time of day, favourite season, favourite environment.
The exterior of the current and soon-to-be-former Christian Barnard Memorial Hospital,, built originally in 1969 as a commercial property and parking garage and converted to a hospital in 1983.
Time for reflection as I wait for a visit from my family early on the morning of my transplant.
Early morning of my transplant, October 11, 2016, surrounded by loved ones. I was quite chilled on the day, but I still can’t look at this pic without being emotional.
Day 4 post-transplant, I am able to sit up in a chair and receive visitors in the isolation ward.
Hospital chefs must be the most maligned people in the healthcare profession. I agitated constantly for better menus, better service. Occasionally kitchen staff were worn down enough to oblige my expectations, especially after my transplant when my revulsion of food and drink dramatically ended and my appetite was restored. Dieticians’ grudgingly agreed that good food disciplines were worth sacrificing for the psychological boost from a “Russian and chips” lunch.
When you’re impatiently ensconced in a hospital for five weeks, moving through five wards as your condition or treatment plan changes, you learn to savour just looking out on the world below, vicariously shopping or enjoying a refreshing drink or walking the lower reaches of the mountain.
Cityscape at dusk
The cityscape in L’Heure Bleue or the Blue Hour
Lion’s Head in the early morning.
Die Bokaap through the window.
And on the other side of “my” building, dawn arises.
The sun peaks out from the east around 6am.
Moving through the city buildings.
Bursting into the day
Saying hello to some of the nurses who cared for me after my transplant.
A blessing from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for our son, Heath, following Sunday Evensong in Grahamstown Cathedral circa 1987.
Breakout! Enjoying a refreshing soft serve and a scenic drive along the coast.
My favourite places.
Human chest cavity sculpture in plywood at the new CBMH.
The human chest cavity devoid of a heart at the moment of transplantation is depicted in this giant plywood sculpture in the entry hall of the new Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital on Cape Town’s Foreshore.
A mural of art portraits of Prof Chris Barnard from around the world adorns the reception area of the new home of the CBMH on Cape Town’s Foreshore.
‘Wid da sistas’ – Jen, Patti, Hazel, Brenda.
Winter is festival time in Grahamstown.
Marking family milestones with Ian Plaatjes.
Big Bay on a summer’s day, my first day out post-TX.
Best time of the day on the best spot.
Patti Hartle Quantoi
‘Friend of the bride’with Siya Boya-Tsewu.
Settling into routines of enjoying life.
The right to look ridiculously silly.
This was an important celebration – for the life of me I can’t remember which one!
Stella and I.
Mia getting the runaround.
‘Sweet little girl on a table.’
Participants in the Frontiers in Heart Disease and Treatment event in November 2016
Speaking at the Frontiers in Heart Disease and Treatment event November 2017.