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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.109 n.5 Pretoria May. 2019




Derek Montagu (Monty) Brink, 10 November 1957 - 10 March 2019




Monty Brink passed away suddenly and tragically while riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour on 10 March 2019, at the age of 61.

Monty was born in Heilbron, Free State, to two general practitioner parents, who spent the first decade or two of their careers there. He was the third of four children. The family returned to Cape Town and settled in Fish Hoek, from where his parents had originally hailed. Monty attended boarding school at Diocesan College (Bishops) and matriculated in 1975.

Monty's love for sport began in his school years, and for 30 years or so he played first-league squash for various clubs, his province and the national team. His contribution to squash earned him the prestigious award for 'Service to squash' from the WPSRA (Western Province Squash). He was well known as the gentle giant of squash, always assisting others and teaching enthusiasm by example.

Monty's tertiary education culminated in several degrees and diplomas: BSc (University of Cape Town) in 1979, MB ChB (UCT) in 1984, Dip Mid (College of Medicine of South Africa) in 1986, FCOG (SA) in 1992, MMed (O&G) in 1993, B Endoscopy (Gynaecological Endoscopic Surgical Education and Assessment) in 2016, and MIGS (Minimal Invasive Gynaecological Surgeon), European Academy of Gynaecological Surgery, in 2017.

Monty commenced private practice in 1994 at Constantiaberg Mediclinic in Cape Town. He had a thriving private practice and recently celebrated 25 years of hard work. Between 1994 and 2002 he was a part-time consultant in the urogynaecology department at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Monty pioneered use of the original TVT (tension-free vaginal tape) procedure (retropubic) in South Africa. He co-authored a book on female urinary incontinence, operated at many workshops at Groote Schuur and Tygerberg hospitals over the years, and was a regular member of the SA panel of urogynaecologists reviewing new products, procedures and techniques. He was the designated trainer/teacher for mesh repairs for Johnson & Johnson from 2009 to 2012.

Monty had a very large obstetric practice, and in recent years was delivering babies to women he had delivered. He worked closely with his wife of 30 years, Liz, a midwife in the same labour ward, and the 'A team' delivered many bonny babies together.

Monty's squash career was followed by a cycling career, approached with as much dedication, enthusiasm and training. He rode several mountain bike tours and many Cape Town cycle tours, and at age 60 was riding a sub-3-hour tour.

Of Monty's many accomplishments, the one that stood out most of all was the exceptionally loving husband and father he was to his wife Liz and four sons Nicholas, Jonathan, Derek and Peter. Monty lived his life as a man of God, a deeply committed Christian, who led by example. His compassion as a doctor knew no limits, and his constant, reliable support of his colleagues was never-ending. His love for his family and friends was palpable, and that for his fellow human beings just as evident.

Monty was an authentic man, an undisputed original, genuine. He has left a huge void that will never be filled.

Caro Jardine

Cape Town, South Africa

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