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Obituary Andrew Pinter

Professor Andrew Pinter, Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Surgery at Pecs University Hungary and past-President of EUPSA (2005 -2007) died on the 19th August at his holiday home near Lake Ballaton surrounded by his family. 

Andrew Pinter running

Andrew Pinter was born on the 1st August 1937 in Pecs Hungary.  He graduated MD from Pecs University in 1962 and completed his training in surgery and paediatric surgery at the Medical University of Pecs in 1972. He was promoted through the department, achieving the position of Professor and Head of Department in 1990, when his beloved mentor and Chief of Surgery, Imre Pilaszanovich retired.  He maintained and grew his department over the next 17 years until 2007 when he retired as HOD but remained on as Emeritus Professor in a teaching, research and mentoring capacity until the present time. During his early training years he gained experience and special expertise in urology and endoscopy in Leipzig and Berlin (East Germany), Houston, Texas and in the United Kingdom at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London. From early in his career he was active in the Hungarian Paediatric Association acting as Secretary/Treasurer and several other administrative positions, becoming President in 1996. He fostered and promoted paediatric surgery in Eastern Bloc countries and greatly encouraged contact with the West as soon as this was possible. Starting in 1991, he honoured his Paediatric Surgical mentor Imre  Pilaszanovich by inviting internationally distinguished surgeons to Pecs as Imre Pilaszanovich Visiting Professors, which introduced  them to his department and his young and up and coming surgical staff, which gave them access to many international centres, thus promoting young Hungarian paediatric surgeons amongst the world community of paediatric surgery.  These and other pre-congress symposia with international participation held in Pecs, became a regular and sought after stopping point for many senior paediatric surgeons from the U.K. and elsewhere prior to attending their other European Congresses. He was very active within EUPSA from its inception, becoming its President in 2005. He travelled extensively, visiting noted paediatric surgical centres in the USA, UK, Europe, Africa the Middle East, Far East and India, always promoting his beloved Department at Pecs Medical University in particular and Hungary in general. He had a particular affection for the BAPS and was Overseas Council member of the BAPS 1995 -1998 and was most pleased to be the invited speaker at the BAPS Dinner in Oxford at the BAPS Congress in 2004.

 His special interests were urology and the total management of cleft lip and palate by a dedicated team. He authored two books, 25 book chapters and nearly 250 peer-reviewed published papers. He received many honours in recognition of his outstanding contributions to paediatric surgery both in Hungary and abroad culminating in award of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary being bestowed on him in 2008. 

The above only speaks to his professional career.  He was an outstanding human being with tremendous physical and intellectual energy and stamina. He was a wonderful host, who maintained collegial friendships with paediatric surgeons throughout the world, many of whom had benefited from his warm and generous hospitality in his home town of Pecs.  He had great empathy with the sick children he treated and maintained lifelong friendships with many of them. He had a great sense of humour. All who knew him would enjoy and remember with fondness being regaled with a string of humorous stories and jokes, told in a subtle and understated manner, which added to the effect of the punch line. Jogging was his special physical endeavour, which he doggedly continued into his late 70’s and as he often stated, his running kit would be the first item to pack for each of his trips abroad. He will be long remembered and sorely missed by many of the world’s paediatric surgeons of the current era, who had the privilege of knowing him.

Andrew’s son Csaba

He is survived by his wife of the last 25 years Kinga, a urologist in Pecs, and children Csaba and Andrea.

Andrew Pinter, paediatric surgeon, was born on August 1, 1937 and died of complications of pancreatic cancer, August 19, 2018, aged 81 years.

Alastair Millar,  September 2018

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