Hitting the bookshelves is a riveting and thought-provoking book that will give readers an intimate look into the remarkable life of Egyptian heart surgeon and innovator Sir Magdi Yacoub. “A Surgeon and a Maverick: The Life and Pioneering Work of Magdi Yacoub”, released by AUC press, the book will chronicle the life of the surgeon from his early years in Egypt all the way to his 2014 awarding of one of the most prestigious awards, the Order of Merit from the Queen of England.
Journalists Simon Pearson and Fiona Gorman, a husband and wife team of authors will chronicle his rich and dynamic story. To truly create an accurate account of his life, they spent a lot of time with Yacoub. I was no easy feat as they were working on his story during COVID so met as much as they can through zoom and following the pandemic, began to meet in person. Along with that, they dug even deeper:
“we also conducted forty-odd additional interviews with patients, colleagues, key members of his team, friends, and families he’d helped. It was such a privilege to hear these stories and to have the opportunity to learn firsthand the impact Yacoub has had on people’s lives and on their children’s lives.”
Yacoub truly did have a major impact on the lives of many especially that of children as through his innovative mind, he was able to revolutionize the treatment of children’s congenital heart disease 40 years ago. Along with that, his story was one of perseverance as he was an outsider in London who pushed for techniques that defied the discourse of medical ethics, techniques which today save many lives.
Him going to London in the first place defied the norm as most remained in Egypt to continue their medical career. Yet, Yacoub knew in his heart that his best path was to head to Britain as medicine was more advanced there at the time. Pearson went on to describe the way Yacoub truly broke the mold:
“He didn’t settle for what the British were doing, he challenged the establishment there and he made mistakes, but he broke new ground as a result. All the way along, he’s challenged orthodox thinking”
To explore and dive into his life, readers will gain access to captivating, rich anecdotes as well as behind the scenes accounts that will place a spotlight on the challenges and successes that the renowned surgeon faced throughout his life.