Search the archives of any news site and the name Karl Heusner will probably come up more than any other name – including Dean Barrow, John Briceno and Chester Williams.  That's because it's the name of the National Referral Hospital – and in a country with so many traumatic accidents and injuries, the biggest hospital is always in the news!  But, if you look behind the name of the hospital to its namesake, you will find probably the most noted medical practitioner in Belize's pre colonial history. Karl Stanislaus Heusner was born to German immigrants on Albert Street in 1872 – in what was then called Ibo-town. 

He trained in the US and worked as a doctor in Belize for 64 years – his entire career.  Today, June Heusner launched the first biography on her grandfather, Karl – and fittingly it was done in the chapel of the hospital that bears his name:

Michael Heusner - Grandson of Karl Heusner
"Dr. Karl Heusner was quite famous and very popular for his practice of medicine long before he died on the job at the age of 88 in 1960. He was actually attending to patients when he felt his heart, he said "I think your doctor will need a doctor", and he went next door to his office, into his living room and lie down, lay down, and passed on."

June Heusner - Author
"This biography was my father, Charles Frederick's brainchild. One day he said "Junie, why you noh write a book about my pah?" I agreed, believing that my grandfather's life story needed to be told. But it would take 27 years for this idea to become reality. We have proudly recorded the story of a true true Belizean hero."

Jules Vasquez
"What really was driving him, was it that he wanted to be distinguished of was it a love of country?"

June Heusner - Author
"I think it was a love of country and a love of the people. If you listen to the stories that older people tell you, it's all the same thing. And he worked for no money. If you didn't have money to pay him, you could pay him with a chicken, with eggs, with ground food, and if yuh noh have anything, that's okay. So he really loved his people."

Michael Heusner - Grandson of Karl Heusner
"Dr. Heusner was also famous for his procreational activities in addition to his... (laughter) I thought I'd get a little reaction from that. In the book, June has documented results of his many amorous affairs. They represent a cross section of the population of Belize." 

Jules Vasquez
"Does anyone know how many children Dr. Karl had?"

June Heusner - Author
"Twenty, twenty children; there were five from the wife; and the wife was also a German woman from Covington Kentucky, but my grandfather loved Belizean women. He loved his children; he took very good care of them, till he died, you know."

Jules Vasquez
"So he's the Heusner that gave rise to all these Creole Heusners we see?"

June Heusner - Author
"Dr. Karl was the only son and the only Heusner in Belize."

Jules Vasquez 
"How many Heusners we have in Belize right now?"

June Heusner - Author
"Oh, thousands; I think it's thousands."

The book sells for twenty five dollars and it will be distributed to booksellers countrywide. Proceeds will go towards a bust of Karl Heusner that the family hopes to mount at the KHMH.

Channel 7