Dream trip to see lep­rosy surgery

‘Mind-blow­ing’ to be asked to go

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By SUE FEA

A 20-year-old Queen­stown med­i­cal stu­dent is ec­static to be cho­sen as part of an elite group of young New Zealand health pro­fes­sion­als headed for Nepal in Fe­bru­ary to ob­serve lep­rosy surgery in a spe­cial­ist hos­pi­tal, south of Kathmandu. Jared Camp­bell found out within hours of his se­lec­tion last week that he was also one of only a hand­ful of sec­ond year Otago Med­i­cal School stu­dents to be awarded a pres­ti­gious Dis­tinc­tion Award this year. That’s some­thing the hum­ble bud­ding young doc­tor plays down, but be­ing ac­cepted for the 12-day New Zealand Lep­rosy Mis­sion trip to Nepal is ‘‘just mind blow­ing’’. ‘‘The idea is to teach, pro­mote and ed­u­cate stu­dents so they re­alise we still have th­ese dis­eases, that many peo­ple view as an­cient and ar­chaic. ‘‘Yes, there’s a cure, but not ev­ery­one has ac­cess to it.’’ ‘‘It’s such an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity, es­pe­cially the im­mer­sion in the hos­pi­tal where they re­con­struct ev­ery­thing from eyes to hands.’’ Af­ter the hard work there would be a two­day trek into the foothills of Mt Ever­est. The ex­cite­ment is bit­ter-sweet for Mr Camp­bell, whose fa­ther Barry Camp­bell died of a brain tu­mour when he was just 12. ‘‘They say ev­ery cloud has a sil­ver lin­ing, but it was more than that. ‘‘That’s the rea­son I wanted to get into medicine,’’ he said. The tremen­dous com­pas­sion shown by doc­tors car­ing for his Dad re­ally im­pacted on the young­ster. He re­mem­bers the sur­geon who broke down in tears as he told his mother, brother and lit­tle twin sis­ters he’d done all he could ‘‘I was stand­ing in surgery this year think­ing this was the same floor my Dad was op­er­ated on and eight years later I was there watch­ing some­one else in that same po­si­tion.’’ It’s been a fi­nan­cial chal­lenge get­ting this far. As a widow, Mr Camp­bell’s mother, Tra­cie Camp­bell, said she just could not have af­forded to fi­nance him through Med­i­cal School with­out the tremen­dous gen­eros­ity of five schol­ar­ships he was awarded, worth more than $40,000. The Muri­hiku Health Schol­ar­ship, worth $16,000, also guar­an­tees him a job for two years as a house sur­geon at South­land Hos­pi­tal when he grad­u­ates. Queen­stown trustees ad­min­is­ter­ing his Mar­garet Tem­ple­ton Schol­ar­ship, awarded for hard­ship, had been ‘‘awe­some’’ and very en­cour­ag­ing, he said. The hard work is al­ready pay­ing off with an un­prece­dented in­vi­ta­tion to ‘‘scrub in’’ and join renowned Dunedin or­thopaedic sur­geon John Dun­bar in the­atre, a priv­i­lege nor­mally re­served for fourth year stu­dents. So far it’s been a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to hon­our his Dad while pur­su­ing a pas­sion that ‘‘in­volves brain power’’. Mr Camp­bell said he couldn’t have got this far with­out his strong Chris­tian faith: ‘‘In ev­ery­thing I do I ac­knowl­edge God for my suc­cesses.’’ ‘‘Re­ally it’s about chang­ing each per­son’s world. To be able to do that for peo­ple is a mas­sive hon­our,’’ he said.

Photo: SUE FEA

Pinch­ing him­self: Med­i­cal stu­dent Jared Camp­bell cel­e­brates the email con­firm­ing he’s off on the dream trip of a life­time to Nepal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.