Deirdre Barnard-Visser is Dr. Chris Barnard’s eldest daughter and first-born child from his first marriage. She currently resides in Cape Town underneath the city’s iconic Table Mountain, not far from where her father stayed before he passed away. Her mother Louwtjie also resided nearby until her death.
During her childhood years, Barnard groomed Deirdre to become a champion water-skier, which she achieved at age 12. The two were very fond of each other, spending hours every day practicing Deirdre’s skiing techniques. After the transplant, however, their relationship took a backseat as Barnard raised to world-wide fame. Although his marriage may have faltered, Deirdre always loved her father and looked to him for support. Deirdre quotes: “He made me feel secure. If I had a problem I would phone him. He would lose his temper quickly but the next minute it would be over.”
Dierdre wrote a book about life as the daughter of an international celebrity titled, “Fat, Fame and Life with Father.” Deirdre was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2014 and shared her experiences with popular local magazine Sarie.
Deirdre Barnard-Visser and her husband Kobus Visser are happily married and have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.