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Biographical entry Marchand, Paul Edmond (1920 - 2002)

MRCS and FRCS 1947; MB ChB Witwatersrand 1944; MCh 1953; MD 1957; FACC 1968; FACS 1970.

19 November 1920
Johannesburg, South Africa
9 July 2002
Cardiothoracic surgeon and Thoracic surgeon


Paul Marchand was born in Johannesburg on 19 November 1920. His father, Georges Edmond, was a Swiss watchmaker and jeweller who settled in South Africa in 1912. His mother, Guerra Pardini, was the daughter of Italian parents who had owned a hotel in Johannesburg since 1890. She was born in 1900 during the Boer war when Lord Roberts accepted the surrender of the town, hence her name ('Guerra' means 'war' in Italian). Paul was educated at King Edward VII School and the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, qualifying in 1944.

He came to England to specialise in surgery, working first at Newcastle under T A Hindmarsh, and later at Guy's under Russell Brock from 1952 to 1954. He was invited to give the Moynihan lecture in Leeds in 1953, was the Nuffield dominion fellow for South Africa in 1953, and won the Moynihan medal in 1954 and the Jacksonian prize in 1956. He completed his training in cardiothoracic surgery at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

On his return to Johannesburg, he was appointed a consultant at Johannesburg Hospital, where he ultimately became chief of cardiothoracic surgery and head of the department of thoracic surgery. Paul was an associate founder of the College of Medicine of South Africa, and its convenor for cardiothoracic surgery from 1972 to 1993. He was President of the Cardiac Society of South Africa from 1968 to 1970 and Chairman of the Cardio-Thoracic Society from 1968 to 1992. He published more than 70 papers, including pioneer reports of mesothelioma. His career spanned virtually all the important milestones of cardiothoracic surgery, beginning at the stage of pulmonary resections for carcinoma, bronchiectasis etc, progressing through closed to open heart surgery. His first human by-pass operation was performed in 1958, and he carried out more than 1,000 afterwards.

He was an avid South African military historian, particularly with regard to the Boer war. He was a keen fly fisherman and owned a trout farm on the Eastern Transvaal escarpment, to which he retired at weekends. A keen gardener, he loved Italian cooking, made his own gnocchi and grew his own artichokes and asparagus.

He married Zoe Bisset, a descendant of an 1820 settler family. Her great grandfather General Sir John Bisset became Governor-General of Gibraltar. They had three sons and one daughter, two of whom entered medicine. He died on 9 July 2002.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Dr Susan Marchand].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England