Jean-Jacques Cornish

Heart operation mix up – no charge

South African doctors have perfumed heart surgery on the wrong patient.
An 83-year old woman with  a healthy heart  was in hospital because of a respiratory infection.
A mix-up between two doctors resulted in here going under the knife for a procedure to remove excessive moisture around the heart.
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The confusion occurred at a hospital in the diamond mining town of Kimberley.
A physician asked his surgeon colleague to  take one of his patients to theatre for the heart operation.
He did not give the proper surname of his patient so Rita du Plessis was wheeled into the surgery  in error.
Because she was unable to give permission for the operation herself, the surgeon had to contact her husband.
The physician only discovered the mistake later during ward rounds when he could not find Du Plessis and was told that she was in surgery.
When He  called her family to apologise for the error, the surgeon had already called the family to tell them that the operation had been  a success.
The Mediclinic Kimberley hospital where the incident occurred has  apologised for the mix-up and has not charged Du Plessis for the unwarranted procedure.
The surgeon and the anaesthetist have also waived their fees.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.