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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.104 n.4 Cape Town Apr. 2014




Hessel Utian



Hessel Utian was born on 18 February 1932 and passed away on 26 February 2012.

After matriculating, at the age of 16 years, from Jeppe High School for Boys, Hessel enrolled at Wits Medical School, graduating with an MB BCh in 1954.

Having completed his junior training, he went to the UK for two years, during which time he obtained a DCH (RCP, London) and an MRCP (Edinburgh), gaining experience in paediatrics at the then Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London.

On his return to South Africa in 1959, he was appointed as a registrar in paediatrics at Transvaal Memorial Hospital for Children (TMHC). After registration as a paediatrician with the then South African Medical and Dental Council (now the Health Professions Council of South Africa), he joined the private practice of Drs Seymour Heymann and Sam Javett in 1962, continuing as a part-time consultant in paediatrics at TMHC, with attendance at the Cardiac Clinic and one of the general paediatric units.

In 1972, he was elected an FRCP (Edinburgh). His long association with the Department of Paediatrics, Wits University, was recognised in 1988, when he received a certificate from the vice-chancellor and principal of Wits University for 25 years of dedicated service. The Wits connection was maintained for another 25 years! Latterly, he was in charge of a special outpatient clinic that dealt with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

He also lectured to nurses undertaking postgraduate training for their diplomas in paediatrics, and served as examiner for the FCPaed (SA) and for the final-year medical student examinations.

Hessel was regarded as an astute clinician and will be fondly remembered by staff of the Department of Paediatrics.

At his home, he grew roses and, when they flowered, would arrive for a ward round with a beautiful rose proudly pinned to his lapel.

Our condolences go to his wife Norma (Diploma in Occupational Therapy, Wits, 1958), his four children and eight grandchildren.


Solly Levin

Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Cardiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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