‘He visited the children at Rainbow Ward on Christmas,just three days before the fatal accident’
“He worked around the clock regardless if it was Sunday or a public holiday. His interests in life were the treatment of children with cancer, sport and his family. On Christmas, just three days before his fatal accident, he visited the children at Rainbow Ward, in Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Hospital.”
This is how medical consultant Victor Calvagna was described by a spokeswoman for Puttinu Cares – the non-governmental organization he founded in 2002 to the families of children with cancer.
Dr. Calvagna died last Tuesday at the age of 63, as a result of the serious injuries he suffered on December 28 when he was hit by a car while jogging in Qawra.
He is remembered as a pioneer in the treatment of cancer in children and was the first Maltese consultant in this field. His work and commitment meant a giant leap forward as thanks to his endeavour the success rate in the treatment of children rose to 80%. In the last two decades, hundreds of children have benefited from the help of Puttinu Cares especially those needing treatment in the UK.
Dr. Calvagna also had a passion for sport and physical exercise. Some months ago he had dedicated the medal won at the Xterra Marathon to Jake Curmi, the boy who died just days before the incident that claimed the life of the Puttinu Cares President.
A spokeswoman for Puttinu Cares told Voice of the Workers Weekly that Dr Calvagna stood out for his dedication and humbleness. “He was an exemplary man and embraced values which we all should cherish,” she said.
“He was supposed to have retired upon reaching 63 years of age last year, but he stayed on as we still needed guidance and advice,” she added.
Victor Calvagna was born on March 22, 1958. In 2010, he was conferred the Honorary Membership of the Order of Merit on Republic Day for his services.
In August 2021, Calvagna was appointed honorary president of the Fgura United football club, which assisted Puttinu Cares in raising funds through the annual football marathons.
UHM Voice of the Workers CEO Josef Vella echoed the sentiment of deep regret and sadness expressed in the wake of his tragic loss.
“Undoubtedly, Dr. Calvagna’s legacy did not end at the moment he took his last breath but will remain alive in the hearts of the hundreds of children and families who benefitted and still get the support which Puttinu Cares offers,” Vella said.