The first Perfusionist I met and had the privilege to work with was Peter Burrows. He was my introduction to the profession. He was my mentor on my first pump run, a circuit with a Rygg-Kyvsgaard bubble oxygenator and Travenol pump used on a canine based research project. We talked for hours on every corner of clinical and research perfusion practice. I can still see him now, greens and lab coat on, tea mug balanced on his right thigh.Peter had an encyclopedic historical knowledge of perfusion that could be called on at any time to provide a solution to every situation faced. We shared many hours of challenge in our chosen profession of which he was a skilled craftsman. Peter came from the generation of Perfusionists that did not have the benefit of a formal program to prepare them for the critical care and open heart surgery environment. Many of the techniques and practices we perform daily were hard lessons learned by Peter’s generation.
We worked together through the last years of his career and the first few years on mine. As we worked at a small heart program this exposed us, several times, of working short staffed. This produced in Peter, a work ethic of independence and confidence; no one was coming to help, better sort it out yourself.
He was a passionate professional in our field.
After he retired he would call around the Christmas season. We would talk of family, recent experiences and the good ole days. I could tell he missed those days, all 37 years of them.
I have been told that we are a little bit of all who we have met. I hope that I carry a little bit of Peter through my working days.
I was very sorry to learn of Peter's passing.
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Peter John Burrows, the loving, caring husband of Frances Rose Miller of Calgary, Alberta who passed away peacefully with his wife and family at his side on Sunday, November 2, 2014, at the age of 76 years. Peter was born in South Battersea, England on May 7, 1938 and immigrated to Canada. He spent many years as a committed health care professional at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a profession in which he took great pride. He had a passionate interest in books, music and loved to express himself through his joy of acting. Peter is survived by his wife, Frances, and a large extended family of loved ones.