Print version ISSN 0256-9574
SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.100 n.6 Cape Town Jun. 2010
Frederik Jacobus Rademan (25 september 1955 - 6 march 2010)
Frik Rademan drowned on 6 March 2010 while canoeing near the weir at his farm, Sunnyside, on the Vaal River in the Vredefort Dome. He was 54 years old and riding the crest of the wave of his full and wonderful life.
Frik went to school in Kroonstad (where his father Piet was a revered and well-respected general practitioner). Frik had a special bond with his father, who taught him about people and about being a doctor, and how to hunt and to fly. Frik could fly before he was allowed to drive. He was a leader at school and played scrum half for the first team for 3 years. He studied medicine at Stellenbosch University where he was the top student, specialised in general surgery (awarded the Douglas Medal for exceptional achievement by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa), and obtained the FRCS (Edinburgh) in 1988.
Surgery was Frik's passion. His knowledge of medicine was expansive, practical and always at his fingertips. He managed his own cases in intensive care and was decisive. It was a pleasure to watch him operate - he was equally comfortable in the abdomen and in the neck and in doing vascular surgery. From 1989 he ran a large practice, primarily at Garden City Clinic, the peak of the violence at that time. He later moved his practice to Wilgeheuwel Hospital, Johannesburg. His patients loved his forthright and often dogmatic manner. He leaves a massive gap in the medical fraternity. His sudden and unexpected passing leaves us in stunned disbelief. He was a trusted friend and doctor to most of his colleagues and their children and friends. He will be especially missed in the doctors' theatre tea room. His curiosity, jokes and stories entertained us all. His open directness was refreshing. He was always the first to meet young colleagues and to make them feel at home and give advice. He never complained and always had a plan and negotiated for all. His knowledge and integrity made him a popular medico-legal expert witness.
Frik was an accomplished pilot and regularly flew his beloved Baron to his farm, to Zambia on hunting trips, to Cape Town to do the Argus, and to Henties Bay for the summer holidays. He was a knowledgeable farmer and developed Sunnyside into a fine game and recreational paradise. He was a gracious and attentive host and had endless friends from all walks of life. He was hardworking and a shrewd businessman. He leaves his children educated and his family financially secure.
Frik met and married Santie during military training. She was a nurse and out-ranked him. They kept jostling for position but there was love, respect and appreciation as well as a large dose of fun and joy as they achieved goal after goal. Frik was a hands-on father and his children spent a great deal of time with him. He had high expectations for his children and he was very proud of all of them. To his children, Frik was a legend.
Frik will be sorely missed by his wife Santie, his children Jurgen, Jeanette, Olga and Pieter, his brother Pieter and sister Nerena, his mother Olga and all of us - his friends, colleagues and patients.
Mauritz van den Heever