Heart pump pioneer has a cafe named after his efforts

A Preston engineer who invented a pioneering piece of medical equipment for use in heart surgery more than 40 years ago has been honoured for his creation.

Norman Fragle, 83, was a senior engineer with the British Aircraft Corporation, now called BAE SYSTEMS, in the early 1960s.

He designed and built an innovative blood pump machine for heart, lung and bypass operations after seeing his son Leslie, then six, suffer from heart problems.

A cafe has been named in Norman's honour at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre, based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Norman, who lives in Fulwood and is widowed after wife Frances died of kidney failure in 1992, said: "I became very interested in heart surgery when Leslie, who is now 54, suffered problems as a young boy.  Leslie suffered from what was just known as a hole in the heart and it was restricting his growth so he needed an operation."

The heart pump Norman created helped take blood from the body and oxygenate it before putting it back into the body and helped surgeons operate for longer.

Lancashire Evening Post   -   11 June 2009

Photo: Norman Fragle opens the Cafe with, from left, cardiologist Dr Graham Goode, son Leslie Fragle and Mark Chapman, of the Lancashire Cardiac Centre