The Nominations: The People’s Award 2000

magdySome people achieve great things over a lifetime, others reach great heights in a short space of time. The People’s Award 2000 will honour the person you think deserves a special accolade. It might be someone whose achievement or contribution to society does not fall easily into any of the specific award categories. It might be someone who has been an outstanding citizen, or someone whose achievement has spanned a lifetime and who now deserves to be recognised. The nominations are:

  • Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur
  • Sir Paul McCartney, MBE
  • Colin Parry for his contribution to peace
  • Mr Steven Wall, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Director of the Cranio-Facial Unit at Oxford Radcliff Infirmary
  • Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub – pioneering heart surgeon

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub – Pioneering Heart Surgeon

64 year-old Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub has saved thousands of lives and his achievements in heart surgery, particularly as a pioneer in heart transplantation, have spanned a lifetime.

Magdi Yacoub was born in Egypt in 1935 and wanted to be a “heart doctor” ever since he was a small boy. When he was seven, his 21-year-old aunt died of a curable heart condition. From that moment on Magdi Yacoub’s ambition was to do whatever he could do to alleviate the pain and misery of people with heart disease.

He has been key to the development of heart surgery and has pioneered new surgical techniques for congenital heart conditions and has performed more heart transplants than anyone else in the world. In 1986 he carried out the first `domino’ operation installing a new heart and lungs into one patient and then transplanting that heart into another patient in an adjoining theatre.

Prof Yacoub and his team also give up their free time to help perform life-saving surgery on children born with serious heart problems in poorer parts of Africa and Asia where there are no resources.

In Prof Yacoub’s words: “Without doubt, there is no feeling in the world like seeing a child who was crippled and in pain get back on his feet, smiling, fit, playing football and going to school…Children are remarkable, they just spring back to life.”

His greatest admirers are the patients that have placed their life in his hands. In the words of one whose husband had life-saving surgery 14 years ago. “Professor Yacoub and his team were the best thing that happened to us. How can you say thank you?”

The Winners

The winners of BBC ONE’s People’s Awards were announced at a star-studded entertainment spectacular held at The Royal Albert Hall. In a celebration of national talentand achievement, famous faces from music, TV, film and sport rubbed shoulders with the UK’s unsung heroes.

The event, broadcast on Sunday 8th October at 7.00pm on BBC ONE, featured special performances from some of the biggest names in entertainment including; All Saints, Westlife, Martine McCutcheon, Andrea Bocelli and a special performance from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s new musical, The Beautiful Game.

The People’s Award 2000 – Winner: Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub

Born in Egypt in 1935, 64-year-old Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub has saved thousands of lives and his achievements in heart surgery have spanned a lifetime. He has performed more heart transplants than anyone else in the world.

About Nabil Raphael

Dr Nabil Raphael is the President of the Coptic Medical Society.

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