McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Faculty member was renowned cardiovascular surgeon

Published: July 27, 2009

Dr. Alfonso Parisi, a cardiovascular surgeon in Hamilton for 35 years and a pioneer of open heart and bypass surgery in Canada, died Sunday, July 26 at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. He was 78.

Following graduation from the University of Ottawa’s medical school and residency at the Cleveland Clinic, the Hamilton native returned to serve on the medical staff at Hamilton General Hospital and as chief of vascular surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital for many years. Parisi was a clinical lecturer and assistant clinical professor in the department of surgery of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine from 1970 to 1996.

One of his most illustrious patients was Alfred Foster Revell, 93, the world’s longest surviving quadruple heart bypass patient who lived for 30 years and 213 days after his surgery. Asked at a ceremony where he received an official Guinness World Records certificate marking his longevity, Revell said one of his three secrets for a long life was having a good surgeon. "(Parisi) did a good job," he said.

Parisi is survived by his wife, Leah; son, Dr. Joseph Parisi; three daughters Anne Marie Block, Nancy Parisi and Paula Friend and eight grandchildren.

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