The Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon's View on Friedrich W Mohr
02 March 2017
02 March 2017
07 April 2017 (online)
From the first meeting with Prof. Mohr at a traditional ski symposium in Val d' Isère in 1997 two things stay in my mind:
Prof. Mohr presented his latest data about the newly established method of minimally invasive mitral valve repair, including a substantial rate of fatal complications with aortic dissection by balloon clamping. I was wondering why he presented such data on an obviously still immature procedure. Later, when working at the Leipzig Heart Center, I realized that he did it as a pioneer of innovations, with all his courage, forceful spirit, and perseverance.
I learnt about Prof. Mohr's passion for sports and skiing. When missing the slalom curves due to too much speed, he just went for his own curves and ways, the slalom poles being too rigid and inflexible. He does not like getting out of his own way and if so, then only rarely!
Having that experience in mind it was an honor for me to be offered the chance for a one year cooperation in pediatric cardiac surgery in Leipzig in summer 1998. As time went by this one year period was extended. Since 1998 we have built a strong pediatric cardiac surgical program at the Heart Center, bringing excellent medicine forward and training cardiac surgical colleagues. Things have changed a lot since Prof. Mohr assisted me at the first switch operation in Leipzig, but the spirit still is the same. Over the years a fruitful cooperation with pediatric cardiologists was established and together we managed many situations well. All kinds of pediatric cardiac surgical operations of all different complexities were performed, and we managed to establish our center as one of the largest in Germany. In parallel to all the clinical work many manuscripts on congenital cardiac surgery were published.
Besides the professional relationship at the Heart Center Prof. Mohr always was a good friend. The tennis sessions once a week were extremely amusing, both on the court and later at the bar for a drink. Apart from sports there was always enough time to discuss many important things for further development in the hospital. Close friendship led us to celebrate many parties, and I am sure there are many others to come.
Dear Fred, thank you for your directness, honesty, willingness to look for new ways, and for your trust in young colleagues who can follow and develop your surgical school. Last but not least, I am very proud and happy for having been allowed to be your colleague and your friend at the same time. Thanks to God, Margaret Thatcher, Mr Gorbatchow, and Ronald Reagan who made it possible that we met each other.
PS. Thanks a lot for the opportunity to drive all cars from your garage at top speed. Probably, I would not have been so generous the other way round.