Legacy of legendary paediatrics professor David Beatty celebrated
Even in death Beatty, who died on August 14, chose good companions to enter into the next world, as this was the same week iconic singer Aretha Franklin and former secretary-general of the UN Kofi Annan were being mourned, those close to him said.
Beatty was well known as a first-rate paediatrician and for his involvement in the Sarah Fox Hospital and Harry Crossley foundation.
Beatty spent 39 years at UCT as a paediatrician and clinical immunologist, becoming professor of paediatrics and child health in 1991, with a stint as acting dean in 1998.
He initiated and guided the development of the Children’s Hospital Trust. Most recently he was involved in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit redevelopment and the new Emergency Centre.
Professor Mignon McCulloch, a paediatric intensive care specialist at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, said Beatty was one of her personal mentors and she would never have got where she was if not for him.
“For us, Beatty was a giant in our lives in that he touched lives of many patients and colleagues. He engaged with people at all levels and had the ability to make everyone around him feel special.
“He was humble and kind, dignified and wise, and often had a warm chuckle and a twinkle in his eye. We had the privilege of having him working with us in the renal clinic for the last 10 years. He was so proud of his ‘boys’, as he called them, and their families.
“He was delighted when he could do the Cape Town Cycle Tour with his son this year, and his son has challenged everyone to join next year’s race in his honour. We thank the family for sharing him with us,” McCulloch said.
Children’s Hospital Trust chief executive Louise Driver said Beatty was an incredible man, always trying to help and always showing concern for everyone’s personal well-being.
“He was also a dedicated sportsman, cycling for the Trust Charity Cape Town Cycle Tour team each year, and an avid golfer who represented the Trust at all fund-raising golf days,” Driver said.