Born on the 1st June 1972 in the beautiful Little Karoo town of Oudtshoorn in the Cape Province. Known for the breath-taking CANGO CAVES and mecca of Ostrich Farming.
At the age of just eight months old, through “fate or providence”, his path crossed that of Dr. Michiel Kritzinger who had just moved to Oudtshoorn to start his General Practice.
It was a traumatic first meeting, when during treatment, it was discovered that Hein was allergic to penicillin. In most “PLATTELAND” towns during that era, your General Practitioner invariably also became a respected and well loved member of the community and in some cases even a dear family friend.
Not only was Dr. Kritzinger a brilliant and very dedicated medical doctor, but because of his endearing personality, he was loved and revered by all as their “Dr. Gielie”. It was thus understandable that as the years went by, he became a role model to many.
When Hein was about six years old and during a consultation in his rooms, “Dr. Gielie” gave him an old stethoscope of which the green tubes had been patched and repaired with band aids and celotape. This became Hein’s most prized possession. All his playmates and anyone willing to play along were subjected to a very thorough examination.
With the real, although battered McCoy, new meaning was given to the popular game of playing Doctor! Doctor!
It was then that Hein first stated that he wanted to become a doctor one day and never throughout his school career waivered from this decision. He started school in January 1979 at Westbank Primary School, Oudtshoorn. At first he had a keen interest in athletics, setting several records in short distance running.
At that time, Dr. Kritzinger moved to Cape Town to study further and later became a world renowned Ophthalmologist in Johannesburg.
Hein finished primary school in 1986 and started his high school career at Oudtshoorn High School, where he matriculated in 1990. He obtained school colours as hockey goalie as well as school champion Target Shooting. He was also the student Leader of the school cadet corps.
In January 1991, his dream came true when he was accepted to Stellenbosch University to study medicine. In his 5th year of study he joined the South African Defence Force (SADF) and studied as a student with the rank of Captain.
At the end of 1996 he obtained his MBChB degree and started his internship at 1 Military hospital, Voortrekkerhoogte Pretoria. He was thereafter transferred to Cape Town. During this period he got engaged to, and on 26 April 1997, married his childhood friend and sweetheart, Diana Gerber from Cape Town, whom he had met eight years earlier during the December school holidays at Mosselbay. Hein finished his internship at Wynberg in December 1998. Whilst in Cape Town he also passed “The Diving and Submarine medicine course.”
In April 1999 he was transferred back to 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria and started in the Ophthalmology department. He also spent six months in research in South Hampton, England.
On 1st May 2001, Dr. Hein was admitted as a Registrar to do post graduate studies at the University of Pretoria department of Ophthalmology, where he studied under the well known Prof. Polla Roux, and qualified on 14th October 2004.
Hein started in a private practice with rooms in Fourways. He then moved to Bryanston. When Dr. Hein van Wyk received his degree in 1996, one of his greatest moments was when Dr. Gielie Kritzinger phoned to congratulate him. Unfortunately in April of 2000 Dr Michiel Kritzinger lost his life in a tragic helicopter accident and thus could not share or experience his role in the fulfillment of this little boy’s dream coming full circle. Nearly 31 years later after receiving that stethoscope, Dr. Hein van Wyk had the privilege to be able to operate in “Dr. Gielie’s Legacy” which this “great man” had founded in namely “Visiomed Eye Centre (Institute)”. FATE OR PROVIDENCE?