At 89, Joaquín barraquer, distinguished as Ophthalmologist Millennium continues to lead the clinic that created his grandfather
If the character and biography of a man could be summarized in a few sentences, this would be an excellent example: “My father died an early May 1965. We extracted the corneas as was his will and while Mom was receiving condolences was he was implementing the two poor patients. Thanks to my father, those people got to see. What more could you ask for? “.
Joaquín Barraquer Moner (Barcelona, 1927), whom everyone called teacher around, shakes hands with warmth and energy. “You have to shake hands hard and look into my eyes,” he warns. Dress impeccably white, tie gloves almost never removed. His office is a library of Babel that Borges had satisfied: oils, diplomas, dedications, vinyls, books and many photos. From Ayatollah Khomeini to Pope John Paul II, from the Pasionaria to Franco.
“From very young, our father invited us to enter the operating room. With our respective robes and silently, not tangle. Then we took the lesson. He wanted us to learn. I operated my first cataract 13 years. He congratulated me: ‘Great, this eye pity that we extirpate for cancer.’ It had been a trial. ”
Professor Joaquín Barraquer is the grandson of Jose Antonio Barraquer Roviralta, first Professor of Ophthalmology of Spain, and the son of Ignacio Barraquer Barraquer, who moved the consultation of the Ronda de Sant Pere Muntaner, 314. “People said: ‘Ignacio has gone mad, it has a magnificent office in the Plaza de Catalunya and goes up there. He did not raise anybody. Began work shortly before the Civil War and opened in 1941. Well, it was so many people coming that had to make enlargements and to reinforce the foundation, “he explains.
There Joaquin and the other six Barraquer Moner settled with their parents. A generation later, in clinical they born and brought up their three children, Elena, Mariana and Raphael. Elena continues to live in his apartment in the same building, as he and his wife, Marina Compte. Joaquín Barraquer ended the last enlargement in 1970. From the beginning, the clinic had a medical service for people without resources. “By moving here we open a section that functions as a dispensary and 15 beds for the poor, who coasted the wealthiest customers were established. To do good always, “he stresses.
Today, the Barraquer clinic continues to serve low-income patients; almost half of its staff deals with the dispensary. “That border is our latest promotion MIR, a private certification we offer here. We chose the best and all we educate them in these human values. ” Values that led him to sell the Mercedes 540K gift from King Faruq his father -only there were three in the world to create the Barraquer Foundation. The teacher describes his father as the most extraordinary man who has known. Teacher, mentor and friend, says that it continues to be from the other side. “Anyone who is not a believer, it is an unfortunate. If you have faith, you have a future, but if you do not believe in anything, when you die what happens? It’s over. And that is very sad “sentence.
Ignacio Barraquer invented, among other mills, a system to help cataract surgery. 1917 was also drew sketches to build the clinic Muntaner and created a zoo on the terrace of the building. He had a puma, with Joaquin played as a teenager, and a chimpanzee, Jocko, who wore an identical coat to own to go for coffee to Sandor. While she tells me, the teacher shows photos of Eye contact (Edicions 62), his biographical book.
Heir to the intellect of his father, Joaquin Barraquer created the first eye bank in Europe, discovered the pathway to facilitate enzymatic zonulosis cataract surgery and how he created the conditions necessary to implement your idea tools. Both techniques are used for decades worldwide. In 2000 he was recognized as Ophthalmologist Millennium. “It is the reward of the proudest I feel,” says the professor, honorary professor of 11 universities, a member of 40 scientific associations and 52 medical societies. “Had it not been ophthalmologist, he would have been bandleader. I take a summer holiday in Salzburg discrete I dedicate to classical music, “he says this fan of James Bond films has operated some 100,000 patients.
Only Joaquin and his brother Jose Ignacio chose to be ophthalmologists and are the third generation of Barraquer. The fourth are Elena and Rafael Ignacio; she is driving of the foundation, which operates freely in developing countries since 2003, and he holds the Research Chair in Ophthalmology Joaquín Barraquer UAB, university which is also attached the Barraquer Institute. Anton, son of Rafael Ignacio, share the fifth generation with his cousins Alvarez de Toledo, Elizalde and Chapel, and seasoned doctors and clinic.
Of the three children of the teacher, only the median, Mariana, dodged the family tradition: “Architecture started but was not was good at math, so I became a painter. He lives in Menorca and is very happy. Maybe it’s the happiest of all. One of his sons also works at the clinic. ”
Before parting, one question remains: How would you like to be remembered? “As someone who was always willing to help,” he answered without thinking.