This Friday brought dire news for the medical fraternity as one of the pioneers of thoracic and cardiac surgery, Dr. John Ochsner, passed away at the age of 91 due to complications related to influenza at the Ochsner Medical Center. In a career spanning over almost six decades, Dr. John Ochsner conducted nearly 12,000 operations which also included the first heart transplant in Louisiana. He had acquired an international reputation in cardiac surgery and had dedicated his service to professional life for improvement of medicine in New Orleans.
The Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards stated that Dr. John Ochsner had the reputation of a renowned pioneer of cardiovascular health and was the leader of a surgical team for conducting one of the first heart transplants in the world. He further added that Dr. Ochsner was responsible for fostering a culture of excellence at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute that has been successful in conducting over 950 heart transplants. The Governor appealed to the public to pray for the friends, colleagues, and family of Dr. Ochsner and remember his remarkable career. He also stated that the legacy of Dr. Ochsner would continue in the lives of people the doctor influenced and saved in the course of his 50 years of service to the state of Louisiana.
H. Hunter White Jr., who had been friends with Dr. Ochsner for 50 years, stated that age was never a barrier for the doctor to continue his service for the patients. He informed that even though age was responsible for his withdrawal from surgical practice, the doctor never retired from the practice of patient care. White also added that in his later years, Dr. Ochsner made rounds in the hospital, listened to people and ensured that they received the required medical care.
Dr. John Ochsner is survived by his wife, two sons, and daughters, a sister and two grandchildren. The funeral arrangements of the doctor are underway at the Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home and his family members have informed that the announcements regarding plans for celebrating the life of Dr. John Ochsner will be made soon.