Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group and Founder of the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Achievement Award (KAHAA) honoured Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub for his outstanding accomplishments in the fields of cardiothoracic surgery and transplants at a special ceremony held on Wednesday 29 May at Khalaf Al Habtoor’s Majlis on Al Wasl Road.
Knighted for services to medicine and surgery in 1992 and awarded the Order of Merit by HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 2014, Professor Yacoub is dubbed as world’s most prolific heart and lung transplant surgeon. As Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London and Founder and Director of Research at the Harefield Heart Science Centre (Magdi Yacoub Institute) he has established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world where more than 2,500 transplant operations have been performed. Professor Yacoub has pioneered a number of operations to correct congenital heart conditions, and improve heart transplant surgery, and was the first to perform heart and lung transplant in the United Kingdom at Harefield Hospital in 1983.
Professor Yacoub was born in Egypt and graduated from Cairo University Medical School in 1957. He trained in London and held an Assistant Professorship at the University of Chicago. Professor Yacoub has served as Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery for over 20 years and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Harefield Hospital (1969-2001) and Royal Brompton Hospital (1986-2001).
Professor Yacoub is recipient of several lifetime outstanding achievement awards in recognition of his contribution to medicine, including the Lifetime outstanding achievement award in recognition of contribution to medicine, Secretary of State for Health of the United Kingdom (1999); Kaufman Awardee at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Heart Failure Summit (2001); Golden Hippocrates International Award for Excellence in Cardiac Surgery (2003); World Health Organization (WHO) Prize for Humanitarian Services; International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation Lifetime Achievement Award(2004); European Society of Cardiology Gold Medal (2006); Medal of Merit, President, International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (2007); Egypt’s highest state honor,Order of the Nile for science and humanity (2011); American College of Cardiology Legend of Cardiovascular Medicine (2012); and the Lister Medal for contributions to surgical science (2015).
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor said, “God has created people and assigned a role for each individual to achieve in his life. Respect is due to all those who would assume this role to the fullest extent possible, and whose work has a great impact on the life of their brethren and future generations. In recognition of these contributions, I launched the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Achievement Award, to honour great achievers in various fields.” Al Habtoor added, “Education is the key of all success. It is an unmatched tool for advancement. That’s why we honour today Professor Yacoub to thank him for all his contributions to science that have driven Egypt and the Arab world to higher levels.”
Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub said, “I’m very honoured and grateful to receive this award from Khalaf Al Habtoor who recognizes the importance of raising awareness about heart diseases in the Arab world. No one is immune from heart diseases and we have exceptional young talent in the Arab world who can help in combating such diseases through education and research.”