Mystery death of heart survivor

Estelle Ellis

MYSTERY surrounds the death in Alexandria of one of the world’s longest-surviving heart transplant recipients. Paul Thesen, 48, who lived in Bushmans River, was found by police slumped in the driver’s seat of his 4×4 on Christmas Day.

Thesen’s family was one of the founding families of Knysna. He received his first heart transplant at the age of 14 in January 1980. The transplant was not totally successful and he was given a second donor heart three years later.

His sister, Robin Thesen-Smith, said yesterday the family was still trying to piece together what exactly had happened to her brother. “My brother, Paul, sustained an injury to his head and [died] on Wednesday. The cause of the injury is not yet known to us,” she said.


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