‘Loved, respected’; tributes after trauma surgeon dies


Numerous tributes and messages of condolence poured in to Dr. Vicky Jennings, an internationally respected and locally loved trauma surgeon, died suddenly on Sunday.

“Dr. Jennings, Clinical Head of Trauma Surgery at Netcare Milpark Hospital, was the personification of selfless, caring and dedicated service. She dedicated her life as a surgeon to her patients in the private and public sector,” said Dr. Richard Friedland, CEO of Netcare, said.

“We are grateful to Dr. Jennings’ extraordinary life and career and our deepest condolences to her children, partner, family and all who loved her.

“She loved her work and what she described as her privileged life and often praised her colleagues, patients, friends and loved ones for making her journey a special one.”

According to an entry on Facebook, Jennings, the mother of two young children, had a heart attack.

“The loss of a mentor like you is immeasurable and our thoughts and condolences are with your family, friends and colleagues in this incredibly difficult time. Your wisdom, guidance and unwavering support will be deeply missed. Your legacy lives on in the many lives you touched,” reads one of the tributes on social media.

“The medical community has lost a master of the industry. May her name be immortalized by those whose lives she changed,” reads another message.

Jennings first studied at the University of Pretoria and then the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). She qualified as a registered sub-specialist trauma surgeon and worked at the Milpark and Chris Hani Baragwanath academic hospitals, among others. She was a highly regarded member of the Association of Surgeons of South Africa and was internationally recognized as a surgeon.

“Not only was Dr. Jennings a mentor to those who had the privilege of working with her in South Africa, but also to the doctors and emergency service workers in various countries worldwide where she shared her passions through her lectures,” says Friedland.

Prof. Ken Boffard, trauma director at the Netcare Milpark Hospital’s academic trauma centre, described Jennings as the “epitome of what a surgeon should be: caring, enthusiastic and skilled. She always gave her best and was highly regarded by everyone she treated, who worked with her and who had the privilege of knowing her.

“Always enthusiastic, always concerned and special to everyone she came in contact with. Dr. Jennings was an exceptional lecturer locally and internationally, a sought-after mentor and a role model for the next generation of trauma surgeons. She will be deeply missed,” says Boffard.