Roberto Jorge Canessa Urta

Roberto Jorge Canessa Urta is a Uruguayan pediatric cardiologist, motivational speaker and former rugby player. He is one of the 16 survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed in the Andes mountains on 13 October 1972. He was portrayed by Josh Hamilton in the 1993 feature film Alive and by Argentine actor Matías Recalt in the 2023 Spanish feature film Society of the Snow.

After returning to Uruguay from the Andes, Canessa graduated from the University of the Republic in Montevideo with a medical degree, and later specialised in cardiology and paediatric cardiology. He serves as Vice President of the Fundación Corazoncitos, which provides care for children with congenital heart disease.

Throughout his career, Canessa has worked as a paediatric cardiologist and a researcher at the Italian Hospital of Montevideo and the Hospital Pereira Rosell. In 2019, he was conferred the title of honorary fellow of the American College of Cardiology and in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, he led a group of professional volunteers to create respirators for ICUs.