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On 15 January, Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Alumni Association organised an event celebrating the launch of the book titled 'Romans Lācis. Sirds cilvēks' by Lia Guļevska published by publishing house Jumava. Cardiac surgeon Romans Lācis is a surgery professor at the RSU Faculty of Medicine Department of Surgery. His name is a part of the history of medicine: he and his team performed the first ever heart transplant surgery in Latvia in 2002.

In addition to performing over 5000 different heart surgeries, being a long-standing head of the Cardiac Surgery Centre at Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital and teaching prospective doctors for years, Romans Lācis has also founded the RSU Alumni Association and was heading this organisation for eight years (2009 to 2017). Currently, he is a Member of the Board at the Alumni Association. In addition, he was appointed a Chairman of the RSU Senate and RSU Council of Professors.

Publishing house Jumava came up with the idea to publish a book dedicated to Prof. R. Lācis several years ago, however the Professor only approved the project before the State Centenary celebration. According to the author, the book was written in one year and tells a story about the Professor’s passionate work, beliefs, and dreams. There are 15 stories included in the book, including interviews with the main protagonist by Lia Guļevska, as well as testimonies by his patients and fellows, and the most important speeches and articles by Professor Lācis.

The guests were addressed by L. Guļevska and Professor Lācis, as well as the Head of the RSU Alumni Association Dins Šmits, the President of the Republic of Latvia (2015 to 2019) Raimonds Vējonis, who became a patient of Professor Lācis, and the Riga Archbishop Metropolitan of the Roman Catholic Church Zbigņevs Stankevičs, the Director of the Jumava publishing house Juris Visockis, and the Professor’s fellows cited in the book, among them RSU Rector Professor Aigars Pētersons and the President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences Professor Ojārs Spārītis.

“If were to list ten most influential Latvian doctors whose work is of historical significance, Romans would definitely be one of them. He’s given heart transplants to adults, as well as to a child” – a quote from the book by Professor and RSU Rector Aigars Pētersons, referring to the first paediatric heart transplant surgery in Latvia in 2015, which was assigned to the then 10-year-old oncology patient named Alise.

The book titled 'Romans Lācis. Sirds cilvēks' allows us to get to know the legendary Professor as a doctor and mentor to the young professionals, but also as a colleague, representative of the academic life and a family man. The author of the book was allowed to be present at one of the cardiac surgeries performed by Professor Lācis, which enabled the creation of a vivid close-up portrait of the main protagonist. The book is complemented by various illustrations.