Surgeon at Evelina Hospital who saved lives of thousands of children is recognised in New Year Honours

By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter

A granddad who invented life-changing medical techniques has been recognised in the New Year’s honours list.

Professor Shakeel Qureshi was made a Knight Bachelor for  services to paediatric cardiology and charity.’

Since 1988, he has been a consultant heart doctor at Evelina London Children’s Hospital where he has treated thousands of children.

The father of four and grandfather of nine became frustrated by the lack of equipment for operating on children born with heart defects

In 1990 he co-invented and developed a device which meant children had their heart defects treated without lengthy open heart surgery.

Taking the name of Professor Qureshi and co-creator Michael Tynan, it is known as the Tyshak balloon catheter and is now used around the world.

Shak Qureshi

In 2013 he went on to create another device which allows doctors to treat leaks between a patient’s heart tissue and valve replacement.

The professor, from Purley, says he actually picked paediatric cardiology back in the 70s as it was an area he didn’t immediately take to.

He said: “I was trying to pick a career that would keep me interested my whole working life.

“I didn’t want to do something I enjoyed, I thought that might get boring.

“I wanted to do something that was difficult and it has been a challenging job.

“In the 70s children and babies with complex heart problems didn’t survive, now it is the other way round and these babies have a great quality of life.”

Professor Qureshi is now 69 and plans on continuing working for a few more years but has taken up golf to keep him occupied when the time comes for him to retire.

He has also organised teaching conferences for other paediatric cardiologists and is the chairman of charity 4 Peace of Mind which supports people hit by natural disasters.

The 69-year-old isn’t sure who nominated him for the award and nearly mistook the email for a scam.

He said: “When I opened it I thought it was a scam email, I didn’t believe it. I parked the email and had another look at it and rang the number.”

He added that it was an “amazing feeling” for his work to be appreciated so highly and thanked the hard work and sacrifices of his parents who moved from Pakistan to the UK in the 1960s.




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