Medal for sur­geon

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - News - D478581

SOUTH Perth res­i­dent James Mo­han Savun­dra was awarded a Medal of the Order of Aus­tralia for his ser­vice to medicine in the fields of plas­tic and re­con­struc­tive surgery.

For the 10th year, Mr Savun­dra will this week be vol­un­teer­ing in Laos with In­ter­plast, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that sends health pro­fes­sion­als to pro­vide life-chang­ing surgery and med­i­cal train­ing across the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion.

Since 2006, he has also been a vol­un­teer sur­geon with Rafiki Sur­gi­cal Mis­sions.

Mr Savun­dra said he vol­un­teered abroad about two to three times a year and found it in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing know­ing he was pro­vid­ing a ser­vice that was not usu­ally avail­able.

“The places we go, cor­rec­tive surgery doesn’t make a men­tion in their health care sys­tems and in all my trips about 70 per cent of pa­tients are chil­dren un­der 15 years, with a lot of the work con­gen­i­tal de­for­mi­ties like cleft palates or ac­quired in­juries such as burns,” he said.

“I went to Africa re­cently and I took some video of a man – who could not walk and was car­ried to the clinic in his fam­ily’s arms on his first visit – kick­ing a soc­cer ball, which was a big achieve­ment.”

Mr Savun­dra is a plas­tic and re­con­struc­tive sur­geon at Fre­man­tle and Princess Mar­garet hospi­tals.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt

Plas­tic sur­geon James Mo­han Savun­dra was awarded a Medal of the Order of Aus­tralia.

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