2 Victor Chang AC ( ) Victor Chang (Yam Him) was born in Shanghai of Australian-born Chinese parents. He came to Australia in 1953 to complete his secondary schooling at Christian Brothers College, Lewisham. Graduating from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1962, he became an intern and later a registrar in cardiothoracic surgery at St Vincent's Hospital. After obtaining Fellowship in Surgery from the English and American College of Surgeons he returned to St Vincent's Hospital in 1972 to join the elite St Vincent's cardiothoracic team, which already included Dr Harry Windsor and Dr Mark Shanahan. A pioneer of the modern era of heart transplantation, Victor Chang was responsible for the establishment of the National Heart Transplant Unit at St Vincent's Hospital in 1984, lobbying politicians and raising funds for its ongoing work. During the 1980's he also travelled and lectured extensively in Asia and formed the Australian Chinese Foundation which sponsored South-East Asian doctors, nurses and students improving the quality of patient care in their own countries. Dr Chang was an original thinker and saw the need for research and development of various cardiothoracic devices. These included the development of an artificial heart valve and more recently the development of an artificial heart. In 1986 Victor Chang was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia and the University of New South Wales awarded its highest degree of M.D. Honoris Causa for "scholarly achievement and humanitarian endeavour". Victor was a quiet, charming person who was loved by his patients and his friends and especially by his wife Ann and his children Vanessa, Matthew and Marcus. Victor Chang was a man of vision; as a surgeon, as a researcher and as an ambassador for Australia and the people of SouthEast Asia. He died tragically in Sydney on July 4, 1991.
3 HONOUR THE DOCTOR Honour the Doctor with the honour due him, According to your need of him; For healing comes from the Most High, And he will receive a gift from the king. The skill of the Doctor lifts up his head, and in the presence of great men he is admired. And he gave skill to men that he might be glorified in his marvellous works. By them he heals and takes away pain; The pharmacist makes of them a compound. His works will never be finished; And from him health is upon the face of the earth. There is a time when success lies in the hands of doctors for they too will pray to the Lord that he should grant them success in diagnosis and in healing, for the sake of preserving life. From the Book of Sirach
4 VALE OUR DR VICTOR CHANG AC Victor Chang School Project Material st November, th July, 1991 Victor Chang was the outstanding cardiothoracic surgeon in Australia and South-East Asia, and he was one of the leading heart surgeons in the world. He was responsible for developing Australia's National Heart Transplant Programme, which has seen almost 300 successful heart, heart-lung and single lung transplants performed since He was also working on the development of an artificial heart, which would be used to support seriously ill patients who were awaiting heart transplants, but for whom no donor was immediately available. Victor's shocking murder by assailants in a Sydney street on July 4th 1991 has robbed medicine and Australia of a great figure. He made an outstanding contribution to medicine, heart surgery, the Australian community and Australian-Asian relations. Victor Chang (Chang Yam Him) was born in Shanghai of Australian-born Chinese parents. They returned to Shanghai before he was born, then moved to Burma before settling in Hong Kong. Victor spent his childhood there, and came to Australia to complete his secondary schooling at Christian Brothers College, Lewisham. He is said to have conquered his difficulties learning English - "gave us all an example of persistence" was how the school annual recorded it - and showed great flair for Science, especially chemistry. He graduated from the University of Sydney as Bachelor of Medical Science, with first class honours, in 1960 and with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 1962, and then worked for two years as an intern and registrar in cardiothoracic surgery at St. Vincent's before leaving for further training in England. In 1966 Victor became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons at the age of 30. Initially he trained in general surgery in England, but he commenced serious training in cardiac and thoracic surgery at the Brompton Hospital for Chest Diseases in London. It was in London that he met and married his wife, Ann. After two years at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., where he was chief resident, he returned to Sydney in 1972 and became a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Vincent's Hospital. In 1973 he was made a Fellow of the Australasian College of Surgeons and in 1975 he became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. At St. Vincent's he worked with the late Dr. Harry Windsor and Dr. Mark Shanahan in building a strong cardiothoracic team. Dr Windsor had performed Australia's first heart transplant in 1968, in the early days of such surgery, before the advent of effective anti-rejection drugs. That
5 first patient survived six weeks. After an anti-rejection drug became available in 1980, which made heart transplants more feasible, it was Victor Chang who was responsible for the initial submission to government for a cardiac transplant programme at St. Vincent's. He personally lobbied politicians and businessmen to raise enough funds to part-finance the national heart transplant programme in The first transplant under the programme was performed at St. Vincent's on 24th February The outstanding team of more than 40 health professionals which Victor led and moulded - and whose enthusiasm he maintained over the next seven years - has now performed 266 heart transplants, 22 heart-lung transplants and 6 single lung transplants. The team has grown into one of the world's largest and most successful programmes, with a 92% patient survival rate after one year and 85% survival rate after five years post-transplant. Victor's concern for his patients in this programme extended to their families and he organised funds to provide convenient accommodation for the relatives who came from all over Australia to be with their loved ones during the weeks before and after the transplant. Victor travelled and lectured extensively in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. He was the founder and president of the Australasian- China Medical Education and Scientific Research Foundation. It sponsored South- East Asian doctors, nurses and students to work in Australia, enabling them to return to improve the quality of patient care in their own countries. He also sponsored many teams from St. Vincent's to China, Singapore and Indonesia where they shared their medical, surgical, nursing, hospital administration and audiovisual skills and knowledge. He was an honorary Professor of Surgery to the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Peking, an honorary Professor of Surgery to Shanghai Medical School and official adviser on cardiac surgery development in Indonesia. In 1982 he was appointed as a Council member of the Australia China Council. Victor was an original thinker who was never satisfied with present technologies and was constantly thinking of better ways of treating patients. He designed an artificial heart valve - the St. Vincent's Heart Valve - which is now produced at low cost in China and Singapore and is used on a large number of patients in South-East Asia. This and his latest project, the circulatory support system or artificial heart, are being developed and tested in his laboratory at St. Vincent's which has been developed and supported with funds raised by Victor. Despite these considerable community activities, Victor maintained a heavy cardiac surgical load, often accepting patients who had been rejected by other units as too sick or too difficult. His patients came from all over Australia and Asia. An indication of the community activities of this outstanding clinician, surgeon and medical scientist was his award by the Queen of a Companion of the order of Australia in 1986.
6 Noting his long and outstanding service to both medicine and the general community, the University of New South Wales thanked Victor Peter Chang publicly by admitting him to the University's highest honour by conferring on him the degree of M.D. Honoris Causa in 1988 for "both scholarly achievement and humanitarian endeavour". In an obituary for his colleague in "The Independent" in London, Professor John Hickie remembers: "Victor was very excited about his latest project, the circulatory support system or artificial heart. Only a few weeks ago he drove me from St. Vincent's to Prince Henry Hospital in Sydney where, in the animal operating unit, he showed me a sheep which had been supported for several days with this artificial heart system. Victor believed he was close to achieving something which would support a person's circulation for several days, or even weeks, until a donor heart became available. He did not think he had achieved a permanent artificial heart system - that is something which is a long way in the future. "Victor Chang was a quiet, charming person with a good sense of humour, an intense interest in his patients, and in their relatives, and with a fascination for technology, seen in his passion of cars, vintage and modern, and his interest in motor racing. He did not seek fame, but it was foisted upon him because of his outstanding ability as a surgeon and a team leader." Victor is survived by his wife, Ann, and three children, Vanessa, Matthew and Marcus; his father, Aubrey; his sister, Frances, and brother, Anthony -- to whom the St. Vincent's community extends deepest condolences.
7 FROM HIS FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES From Dr Mark Shanahan Dear Ann, Vanessa, Matthew, Marcus, Mr Aubury Chang, Frances, and Anthony, All members of the Chang family, distinguished guests and friends. All of you here who loved and admired Victor Chang. No one could have imagined before today the courage that Victor's family have shown in the past week. Having heard Vanessa's magnificent tribute we can do so now. We gather here to say farewell to Victor and to pay tribute to his unique life and achievements. He became not only an internationally acclaimed surgeon of great skill but also an ambassador and indeed a national hero. None of us want to believe that such a senseless crime could be committed against a gentle, humble and most likeable man who was himself devoid of any kind of violence. The fact remains however that we have lost him. His absence now leaves a void which we will try to patch up but which we can never fill. Victor had so many qualities of which others will also speak this morning. Some qualities are common to most great people. Some however were especially his own. Most obviously he was Chinese and very proud of his racial origin and aware that it gave him special advantages and broadened his potential. He loved Chinese and all other Asian people. He devoted much of his life and surgical skills to their welfare and education, here and overseas. He was abundantly kind, compassionate and generous in ways too numerous to mention. Although gentle, sensitive and modest about himself he was nevertheless confident and self-assured as a surgeon. He was very assertive about what he thought was right and proper. He was equally comfortable with the famous or the disadvantaged. He was a great team leader. It was difficult however to pass him a compliment as he would quickly change the subject. The concept that he was a national hero was prone to make him both amused and embarrassed. He would never have imagined this unique response, this wonderful display of love and respect. Victor Chang will remain an enigma. He was one who many people assumed to be complex and yet to his friends he was a very human and simple person whose friendship and loyalty was deeply sincere and unshakeable. It is slowly dawning on
8 me how much I am going to miss him. This must be true for all of you and for all of those who have been affected by his talents at sometime. I believe that goodness, as exemplified by the parable of the Good Samaritan, knows no religious boundaries and needs no label. Victor Chang dedicated his life to helping those who needed his help and lost his life prematurely for refusing to compromise that principle. I have no doubt that God will bless his soul abundantly in rewarding that goodness. So in truth we should all rejoice that he has achieved that which we all seek, namely true peace. To Ann, Vanessa, Matthew, Marcus and all Victor's family I say on your behalf that we share your grief and feel deeply saddened at the awesome sacrifice which has been thrust upon you. We hope that time will lessen your sorrow and that one day you will enjoy peace and happiness again. I wish that for all of you here today. Thank you. From Sister Rosina Johnston My association with Victor was a quarter of a century. Victor was a kind and generous man. He was always willing to participate in nursing projects and sponsored many nurses overseas. Tuesday was always Victor's day in the operating rooms so we all knew to have the cup of tea ready around 11:30 after his first case - weak, white, with three sugars. He had a wicked sense of humour and dearly loved to provoke and tease.
9 He always had time for the transplant patients and would often stop them in the hall for a chat. They were constantly amazed that he knew them all by name. Despite his position he was always gracious and available. In fact he said on many occasions that he was just "one of the gang" but he was in fact, a colleague and a friend. He will be missed by all those his life has touched, particularly the transplant patients and the Team, but the St. Vincent's family will continue to grow with the same traditions. I am proud to have called him my friend. From Professor Michael O'Rourke Victor Chang was a man of many contrasts, and of many parts. He was a thoroughly professional surgeon, but a little boy at heart. He shunned publicity, but he loved to be in charge. He lived gently, but he died violently. Victor had a great sense of noblesse oblige. While he developed a large private practice through his friends and colleagues in Asia, he also spent many and long periods working in developing nations. He held Professorships at National Institutions in China, India, Indonesia and Singapore. He flew teams of cardiac specialists from St. Vincent's, then broke these up in the host hospital so that each could work separately. Nothing pleased him more than when his colleagues - doctor or nurse - returned independently to continue teaching, patient care, and research in Asian nations. He loved to plant seeds and to see these grow. He was a fine diplomat, but mainly by example and through the work bench. All the things that Victor did would not have been possible without the encouragement and support of his family - Aubrey, Frances and Anthony, of the children who were his pride and joy - Vanessa, Matthew and Marcus, and especially his dear and cherished wife Ann, whose English charm and grace so complemented Victor's own qualities.
10 Victor Chang taught by example. He taught us tolerance. He set us standards. He taught us to live, to love and to laugh. His last act was to defend his freedom, and our Australian way of life. From Associate Professor Don Harrison Victor Chang's death has stunned the cardiac anaesthetists and intensivists of St. Vincent's hospital. To us, he was more than a colleague, he was a partner in friendships which had matured and grown deeper over the many years of long cases, late nights and clinical crises. It is not difficult to find the reasons for which Victor inspired respect and affection in other members of our team. He had a genuine respect and affection for those who worked around him and he was never slow to express those feelings. He was thoughtful of others. On any one of his many history-making trips to China, Indonesia, Singapore or Malaysia, he would be sure to thank each member of the local team, even those whose input had been small. He recognised the value of teamwork and the worth of each individual in the team. To work with Victor was to follow in the trail of a comet, sometimes there was fire and heat but always there was the brilliant light and the sense of forward speed. We shared in his triumphs but he rarely let us share his defeats. Victor was not a man to seek a scapegoat or to disseminate blame. He was a man of bravery in adversity but modesty in success. Travel overseas with Victor was a rollercoaster ride, we sometimes did not quite know where or why we were going or what we would find when we got there, but it was exciting all the way. On those rides we found another level to Victor, still the professional leader but a gentler, softer Victor full of humour and warmth, accessible and sharing. We will never forget his encyclopaedic knowledge of cars and Chinese movies, his wide readings in Chinese History and his love of things beautiful. He was a man of many cultures and a man of culture in each one. Farewell Victor, colleague and friend, we have lost more that we can say and perhaps more than we can know.
11 Thanks to St. Vincent's Victor Chang School Project Material 2012 We would like to give thanks to all the Staff and those connected with St. Vincent's Hospital. Thank you for your support for Victor over the years and for the love and concern you have shown us since his tragic death. Your words and thoughts are great consolation. St. Vincent's were instrumental in developing and growing with Victor and helped realise his dreams... and will continue to do so through the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Centre. The names of St. Vincent's and Victor Chang are synonymous - the goal to achieve excellence will be maintained. Victor would not have expected anything less from St. Vincent's. The Chang Family Colleagues... If I should die and leave you here awhile, Be not like others sore, undone who keep Long vigils by the silent dust and weep. For my sake turn again to life and smile. Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do, Something to comfort other hearts than thine. Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine, And I perchance may therein comfort you. We shall all miss our colleague terribly - the twinkling eyes and the warm, ready smile - but we all have our own particular memories of his verve and enthusiasm which we must all keep alive and afloat.
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