Waldemar Katze, affectionately known as Wally to the many South Africans who followed his story in the build up to the world’s first ever live television broadcast of open heart surgery, is on the road to making a full recovery.
His single bypass operation on August 2, 2008 was a success and Wally was discharged from Netcare Milpark hospital on August 7. Once a heavy smoker who led a sedentary lifestyle and followed a poor diet, Wally has made dramatic changes to his lifestyle.
According to a press release, Katze is still feeling slightly battered and bruised, but has started exercising, stopped smoking, is eating regular meals and is making good dietary choices. Just two weeks after the surgery, he was also back at work.
Bertie Herbst, a biokineticist at the Netcare Milpark Hospital who has been treating Wally post-surgery, said South Africa’s most adored patient was making good progress during his rehabilitation programme.
Programme aimed at strengthening heart
“Wally is responding tremendously well and noticeably enjoying his treatment sessions with us. He is currently attending three sessions per week with home rest days in between. He will progress to a higher phase in his rehabilitative programme soon and has also received his own heart rate monitor to enable him to keep an eye on himself when he begins the home-based programme shortly,” said Herbst.
He added that the primary goal of Wally’s current physical treatment is to achieve improvements in his cardio-respiratory and functional capacity ability, as this would strengthen his heart and help him to return to normal routine within the limits of his condition. Katzke is also undergoing consultations with a cardiologist who is monitoring him closely.
According to the press release, Katzke said before the surgery that his biggest fear was not surviving the operation. This gave him time to reflect on his bad dietary and lifestyle choices.
The release concluded that Katzke "remains overwhelmed by the support from family, friends and strangers and is feeling upbeat about sustaining the positive changes he has made following the surgery". - (Press release, September 2008)
Wally and his heart doing well