Almost R60 000 raised at the memorial of Mediclinic Constantiaberg obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Monty Brink,was donated to the Zoe Project this past Sunday.
Dr Brink died from a heart attack during the Cape Town Cycle Tour in March, (“Belovedgynae dies during Cycle Tour,” Bulletin March 14.
He worked at Mediclinic Constantiaberg for 25 years, delivering thousands of babies there. He also delivered babies at the False Bay Hospital.
His wife, Liz Monty, who delivered babies beside him as a nurse, decided that instead of receiving
flowers from friends and his patients to honour him, the family would like the public to make a monetary donation towards the Zoe Project Retreat Midwife Obstetrics Unit.
Even though Dr Brink had never worked with the Zoe Project before, Ms Brink said she knew it was what he would have wanted.
The Zoe Project offers counselling, support, antenatal classes, doulas and more to pregnant women and young mothers across the province.
Tracey Aitken, the founder and director of the Zoe Project, said she was very grateful for the donation.
Ms Brink said she and her late husband had heard
about the Zoe Project many times and had been impressed with its work.
It was a worthy cause, because just as her husband had done, the Zoe Project was saving the lives of many women and children, she said.
The Zoe Project will use the money to train doulas and for volunteers who will run antenatal classes at the Retreat Midwife Obstetrics Unit. It has named a shipping container it uses for training at the back of the unit the Dr Monty Brink Education Centre.
Leslie Alexander, who was Dr Brink’s secretary for 24 years described him as a kind, wonderful person.
“He would work from 7am to 7pm. He was never rude, never complained. He was the most wonderful man. He was funny, and also very unassuming. Monty would come to work in the
most casual clothes, as if he wasn’t a doctor. He helped all kinds of women, rich, poor, all of them. There were a lot of probono cases with him,” said Ms Alexander.
At the ceremony on Sunday, a plaque was placed in his remembrance as his wife addressed the crowd.
“I know he’s smiling in heaven. This is going to empower so many women and give these babies a fresh start,” she said.
Dr Martin Brossy also worked beside Dr Brink as an anaesthesiologist,and was the best man at his wedding and played squash with him.
“He was a role model. He picked up litter, he delivered drinks and hot chocolate to people at the hospital. He slept for only five
hours a day. Even after two back operations, he kept going. He was a highly
principled man, also very active in his church, refused to terminate pregnancies. He always wanted to save the babies’ lives,” said Dr Brossy.
He added: “I’m going to leave you with these words about Monty. The mark of a man is not so much having his presence felt, but having his absence missed.”