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c

8 December 1927–3 December 2016

David and his identical twin brother Hamish were born 8 December 1927 to James Lawrence Hay and Davidina Mertel Hay (née Gunn). They had two older sisters, Helen then aged eight and Laurie, three. Both parents had been born in New Zealand in 1888 and were strict Presbyterians. Hay’s Ltd was soon to start as a drapery store in 1929, and Davine had trained in nursing at Christchurch Hospital.

The twins started their early schooling at Fendalton School, followed by St Andrew’s College in 1940. Both brothers did well, academically passing the university entrance exam at the age of 14 years, David later sharing proxime accessit. David was Company Sergeant Major of the College Cadet Corps and Hamish was Flight Sergeant of the Air Training Corps. David won oratory and debating prizes and was Mikado in the College’s 1944 production.

In 1945, David attended Canterbury University College and gained entrance to medical school, proceeding to Dunedin and Knox College the following year. He was much involved in social and musical activities, and played rugby for Knox College and the University B team. His public health thesis, which recorded the results of a study of the relationship of maternal rubella to congenital deafness and other abnormalities, was one of only two from the class published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the other being on the topic of poliomyelitis. David’s choice of topic may have related in part to his own experience of partial deafness, the result of middle ear infection as an infant, which resulted in a radical mastoidectomy when he was five years old.

In 1950, David returned to Christchurch as a final year student, followed by a year there as a house surgeon. A second year in Christchurch was a consideration, but instead he headed to England for postgraduate study, travelling as ships’ surgeon aboard the MV Norfolk. He worked as a house surgeon at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton, then the Hammersmith and Brompton Hospitals, passing the London Membership examination at his first attempt. This success led to his appointment as house physician to Paul Wood and Guy Scadding, the former inspiring him towards a career in cardiology. As resident medical officer at the National Heart Hospital for a year, David continued to work with Paul Wood and Aubrey Leathem.

In late 1955, David returned to New Zealand to take up a position as research officer in Professor Horace Smirk’s Hypertension Unit in Dunedin. In 1956, he took on a senior registrar position at Dunedin Hospital and the next year returned to Christchurch as senior registrar, the second such position beside that of Don Beaven. David enjoyed teaching, and in tutorials with the final year students met Jocelyn Bell to whom he was later married in 1958. Jocelyn pursued a career path through general practice to the Student Health Service, and their two daughters Nicola and Natasha presently continue their careers in medicine and journalism respectively.

After two years as senior registrar, during which time he completed an MD and published on the topic of staphyloccal sepsis, David was appointed to the visiting staff as assistant physician combined with time in private practice. In 1964, he was appointed as cardiologist to develop a new Department of Cardiology at Princess Margaret Hospital, where Respiratory Medicine and the Medical Unit were already situated. Over time, a coronary care unit and investigational facilities were developed and enlarged, and further appointments made. David travelled widely and took a particular interest in pre-hospital coronary care, as exemplified in Seattle, and also in cardiac rehabilitation. From 1969–78, he was Head of the Department of Cardiology and then Chairman of Medical Services and Head of the Department of Medicine from 1978–84. He was a clinical reader in the Christchurch Clinical School, University of Otago. He held numerous leadership roles for the College of Physicians, Cardiac Society, New Zealand Medical Association and Canterbury Hospital Board.

The National Heart Foundation was founded in 1968. David was one of a small group of medical and lay people who had the vision and generosity of spirit to establish the Foundation on a firm footing, leading to its formal incorporation following the inaugural Council meeting at Wellington Hospital on 1 April 1968. He was a foundation Member of Council and also of the Scientific Committee, the first meeting of which was held in the Hay’s home in Christchurch, chaired by Sir Edward Sayers, then Dean of the Otago Medical School.

As inaugural medical director of the Heart Foundation from 1977–92, David’s style was inimitable and quietly distinctive. He was extremely thoughtful and detailed in his approach. During the period of his leadership of the Foundation, coronary heart disease death rates, which were extremely high and had peaked in the 1960s, fell steadily by more than 50%. The reasons for this decline were much debated at the time, with a number of factors related to prevention and treatment contributing. In retrospect, it became clear that the most important factor was the reduction in smoking rates.

Tobacco control was David’s passion, and his leadership in this arena with all its complexity must have allowed him great personal satisfaction. His advocacy was relentless and most effective. He received international recognition for his work in tobacco control with a WHO Medal awarded in 1995.

David was a compassionate and caring physician, and an outstanding leader and representative of a generation, which made a massive contribution to the present wellbeing of our country. His lifetime contributions to healthcare were recognised by the award of CBE in 1981, and he was honoured as Knight Bachelor in 1991.

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked when they had made camp that day.

Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

This quotation is the frontispiece in David’s autobiography entitled Heart Sounds, a life at the forefront of health care (Steele Roberts Ltd, 2005). The memoir is concise, amusing, informative and eminently readable. It is a quintessential Christchurch and Canterbury tale of the times. It spans the birth and development of modern clinical cardiology as it grew from a bedside art to high technology.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Norman Sharpe, Medical Director, Heart Foundation 2003-2014, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

c

8 December 1927–3 December 2016

David and his identical twin brother Hamish were born 8 December 1927 to James Lawrence Hay and Davidina Mertel Hay (née Gunn). They had two older sisters, Helen then aged eight and Laurie, three. Both parents had been born in New Zealand in 1888 and were strict Presbyterians. Hay’s Ltd was soon to start as a drapery store in 1929, and Davine had trained in nursing at Christchurch Hospital.

The twins started their early schooling at Fendalton School, followed by St Andrew’s College in 1940. Both brothers did well, academically passing the university entrance exam at the age of 14 years, David later sharing proxime accessit. David was Company Sergeant Major of the College Cadet Corps and Hamish was Flight Sergeant of the Air Training Corps. David won oratory and debating prizes and was Mikado in the College’s 1944 production.

In 1945, David attended Canterbury University College and gained entrance to medical school, proceeding to Dunedin and Knox College the following year. He was much involved in social and musical activities, and played rugby for Knox College and the University B team. His public health thesis, which recorded the results of a study of the relationship of maternal rubella to congenital deafness and other abnormalities, was one of only two from the class published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the other being on the topic of poliomyelitis. David’s choice of topic may have related in part to his own experience of partial deafness, the result of middle ear infection as an infant, which resulted in a radical mastoidectomy when he was five years old.

In 1950, David returned to Christchurch as a final year student, followed by a year there as a house surgeon. A second year in Christchurch was a consideration, but instead he headed to England for postgraduate study, travelling as ships’ surgeon aboard the MV Norfolk. He worked as a house surgeon at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton, then the Hammersmith and Brompton Hospitals, passing the London Membership examination at his first attempt. This success led to his appointment as house physician to Paul Wood and Guy Scadding, the former inspiring him towards a career in cardiology. As resident medical officer at the National Heart Hospital for a year, David continued to work with Paul Wood and Aubrey Leathem.

In late 1955, David returned to New Zealand to take up a position as research officer in Professor Horace Smirk’s Hypertension Unit in Dunedin. In 1956, he took on a senior registrar position at Dunedin Hospital and the next year returned to Christchurch as senior registrar, the second such position beside that of Don Beaven. David enjoyed teaching, and in tutorials with the final year students met Jocelyn Bell to whom he was later married in 1958. Jocelyn pursued a career path through general practice to the Student Health Service, and their two daughters Nicola and Natasha presently continue their careers in medicine and journalism respectively.

After two years as senior registrar, during which time he completed an MD and published on the topic of staphyloccal sepsis, David was appointed to the visiting staff as assistant physician combined with time in private practice. In 1964, he was appointed as cardiologist to develop a new Department of Cardiology at Princess Margaret Hospital, where Respiratory Medicine and the Medical Unit were already situated. Over time, a coronary care unit and investigational facilities were developed and enlarged, and further appointments made. David travelled widely and took a particular interest in pre-hospital coronary care, as exemplified in Seattle, and also in cardiac rehabilitation. From 1969–78, he was Head of the Department of Cardiology and then Chairman of Medical Services and Head of the Department of Medicine from 1978–84. He was a clinical reader in the Christchurch Clinical School, University of Otago. He held numerous leadership roles for the College of Physicians, Cardiac Society, New Zealand Medical Association and Canterbury Hospital Board.

The National Heart Foundation was founded in 1968. David was one of a small group of medical and lay people who had the vision and generosity of spirit to establish the Foundation on a firm footing, leading to its formal incorporation following the inaugural Council meeting at Wellington Hospital on 1 April 1968. He was a foundation Member of Council and also of the Scientific Committee, the first meeting of which was held in the Hay’s home in Christchurch, chaired by Sir Edward Sayers, then Dean of the Otago Medical School.

As inaugural medical director of the Heart Foundation from 1977–92, David’s style was inimitable and quietly distinctive. He was extremely thoughtful and detailed in his approach. During the period of his leadership of the Foundation, coronary heart disease death rates, which were extremely high and had peaked in the 1960s, fell steadily by more than 50%. The reasons for this decline were much debated at the time, with a number of factors related to prevention and treatment contributing. In retrospect, it became clear that the most important factor was the reduction in smoking rates.

Tobacco control was David’s passion, and his leadership in this arena with all its complexity must have allowed him great personal satisfaction. His advocacy was relentless and most effective. He received international recognition for his work in tobacco control with a WHO Medal awarded in 1995.

David was a compassionate and caring physician, and an outstanding leader and representative of a generation, which made a massive contribution to the present wellbeing of our country. His lifetime contributions to healthcare were recognised by the award of CBE in 1981, and he was honoured as Knight Bachelor in 1991.

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked when they had made camp that day.

Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

This quotation is the frontispiece in David’s autobiography entitled Heart Sounds, a life at the forefront of health care (Steele Roberts Ltd, 2005). The memoir is concise, amusing, informative and eminently readable. It is a quintessential Christchurch and Canterbury tale of the times. It spans the birth and development of modern clinical cardiology as it grew from a bedside art to high technology.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Norman Sharpe, Medical Director, Heart Foundation 2003-2014, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

c

8 December 1927–3 December 2016

David and his identical twin brother Hamish were born 8 December 1927 to James Lawrence Hay and Davidina Mertel Hay (née Gunn). They had two older sisters, Helen then aged eight and Laurie, three. Both parents had been born in New Zealand in 1888 and were strict Presbyterians. Hay’s Ltd was soon to start as a drapery store in 1929, and Davine had trained in nursing at Christchurch Hospital.

The twins started their early schooling at Fendalton School, followed by St Andrew’s College in 1940. Both brothers did well, academically passing the university entrance exam at the age of 14 years, David later sharing proxime accessit. David was Company Sergeant Major of the College Cadet Corps and Hamish was Flight Sergeant of the Air Training Corps. David won oratory and debating prizes and was Mikado in the College’s 1944 production.

In 1945, David attended Canterbury University College and gained entrance to medical school, proceeding to Dunedin and Knox College the following year. He was much involved in social and musical activities, and played rugby for Knox College and the University B team. His public health thesis, which recorded the results of a study of the relationship of maternal rubella to congenital deafness and other abnormalities, was one of only two from the class published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the other being on the topic of poliomyelitis. David’s choice of topic may have related in part to his own experience of partial deafness, the result of middle ear infection as an infant, which resulted in a radical mastoidectomy when he was five years old.

In 1950, David returned to Christchurch as a final year student, followed by a year there as a house surgeon. A second year in Christchurch was a consideration, but instead he headed to England for postgraduate study, travelling as ships’ surgeon aboard the MV Norfolk. He worked as a house surgeon at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton, then the Hammersmith and Brompton Hospitals, passing the London Membership examination at his first attempt. This success led to his appointment as house physician to Paul Wood and Guy Scadding, the former inspiring him towards a career in cardiology. As resident medical officer at the National Heart Hospital for a year, David continued to work with Paul Wood and Aubrey Leathem.

In late 1955, David returned to New Zealand to take up a position as research officer in Professor Horace Smirk’s Hypertension Unit in Dunedin. In 1956, he took on a senior registrar position at Dunedin Hospital and the next year returned to Christchurch as senior registrar, the second such position beside that of Don Beaven. David enjoyed teaching, and in tutorials with the final year students met Jocelyn Bell to whom he was later married in 1958. Jocelyn pursued a career path through general practice to the Student Health Service, and their two daughters Nicola and Natasha presently continue their careers in medicine and journalism respectively.

After two years as senior registrar, during which time he completed an MD and published on the topic of staphyloccal sepsis, David was appointed to the visiting staff as assistant physician combined with time in private practice. In 1964, he was appointed as cardiologist to develop a new Department of Cardiology at Princess Margaret Hospital, where Respiratory Medicine and the Medical Unit were already situated. Over time, a coronary care unit and investigational facilities were developed and enlarged, and further appointments made. David travelled widely and took a particular interest in pre-hospital coronary care, as exemplified in Seattle, and also in cardiac rehabilitation. From 1969–78, he was Head of the Department of Cardiology and then Chairman of Medical Services and Head of the Department of Medicine from 1978–84. He was a clinical reader in the Christchurch Clinical School, University of Otago. He held numerous leadership roles for the College of Physicians, Cardiac Society, New Zealand Medical Association and Canterbury Hospital Board.

The National Heart Foundation was founded in 1968. David was one of a small group of medical and lay people who had the vision and generosity of spirit to establish the Foundation on a firm footing, leading to its formal incorporation following the inaugural Council meeting at Wellington Hospital on 1 April 1968. He was a foundation Member of Council and also of the Scientific Committee, the first meeting of which was held in the Hay’s home in Christchurch, chaired by Sir Edward Sayers, then Dean of the Otago Medical School.

As inaugural medical director of the Heart Foundation from 1977–92, David’s style was inimitable and quietly distinctive. He was extremely thoughtful and detailed in his approach. During the period of his leadership of the Foundation, coronary heart disease death rates, which were extremely high and had peaked in the 1960s, fell steadily by more than 50%. The reasons for this decline were much debated at the time, with a number of factors related to prevention and treatment contributing. In retrospect, it became clear that the most important factor was the reduction in smoking rates.

Tobacco control was David’s passion, and his leadership in this arena with all its complexity must have allowed him great personal satisfaction. His advocacy was relentless and most effective. He received international recognition for his work in tobacco control with a WHO Medal awarded in 1995.

David was a compassionate and caring physician, and an outstanding leader and representative of a generation, which made a massive contribution to the present wellbeing of our country. His lifetime contributions to healthcare were recognised by the award of CBE in 1981, and he was honoured as Knight Bachelor in 1991.

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked when they had made camp that day.

Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

This quotation is the frontispiece in David’s autobiography entitled Heart Sounds, a life at the forefront of health care (Steele Roberts Ltd, 2005). The memoir is concise, amusing, informative and eminently readable. It is a quintessential Christchurch and Canterbury tale of the times. It spans the birth and development of modern clinical cardiology as it grew from a bedside art to high technology.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Norman Sharpe, Medical Director, Heart Foundation 2003-2014, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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