|Friday, 01 October 2010|
The RCSEd Council member who was an active fundraiser for transplant patients and who founded a charity to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education
It is with deep sadness that we report the sudden and premature death of Mr Ali Bakran whilst on holiday in the Maldives. He was a Vascular and Transplant Surgeon and Council Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh.
Although born in Hyderabad, India, his family moved to Salford when Ali was a young boy. He studied at Manchester Grammar School before entering Leeds University Medical School. His postgraduate surgical training was based around Manchester and he was appointed as Consultant Surgeon in the Royal Liverpool Hospital in 1989.
As a transplant surgeon, he developed a special interest in vascular access and was instrumental in establishing the European Vascular Access Society and was the founder President of the Vascular Access Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Despite a heavy clinical workload and onerous on call commitments, he continued to publish extensively throughout his clinical career, totalling 86 research papers. These covered both clinical and scientific topics with special contributions on vascular access and viral infection in transplant patients.
He dedicated much time to the quality of life of his transplant patients and was actively involved in regular fundraising activities, Transplant Games and celebrations of transplant success such as the organisation of a dinner for 25-year kidney transplant survivors. Ali never lost sight of his roots and humble origins, both in Pakistan and Salford, and established a charity Aequitas whose major aim is to promote the advancement of students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds into university education by providing financial and educational support.
Some measure of the high regard in which Ali is held by patients and colleagues is shown by their intention to climb Mount Snowdon in his memory.
Ali became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1978 and rose to become an elected member of Council in 2005. When introducing himself, he wrote in Surgeons’ News ‘I am a firm believer in the NHS and equality of access to quality and free healthcare’ and reminded us of the ‘striking differences in the survival of people depending on where they live’. On Council he was a strong advocate for the increased involvement from the Colleges in ‘sieving out poorly performing surgeons’ and took a particular interest in the setting of clinical standards. Ali stated his view that ‘all the Surgical Colleges should speak as one voice – division weakens us all.’
Ali was a softly spoken and gentle man, but behind this humble facade was a man of gritty determination, known in his hospital for bulldozing tactics when patient care was at risk.
Speaking for myself, I have lost a dear friend and kindred spirit. His close family have lost a loving father and husband, the College has lost a staunch supporter and advocate of surgical excellence and surgery in general has lost a true gem.
Ali leaves his wife Di and children Adam and Miriam. They have our most sincere sympathies and our best wishes for their future.
Steve Nixon, former College Council member