This is the latest instalment of the War Doctor Heroes series from the David Nott Foundation(The Foundation), introducing Dr Ayman, a Syrian vascular surgeon and War Doctor Hero from Syria.
The Foundation first met Ayman back in 2013, when David Nott was volunteering in Alzarour Hospital, Aleppo. Whilst treating patients, David was able to teach Ayman and his team a variety of specialised surgical procedures that Ayman was later able to use to save casualties.
At this time, medical workers and facilities were a target. As Ayman put it, “the hospitals in Aleppo were a kind of magnet for attacks.”
It was too dangerous to go outside as barrel bombs and missiles could fall at any time so Dr Ayman and his colleagues had to work, sleep and eat in their underground hospital.
The heavy siege also meant resources were always in short supply. They lacked the right sutures to stitch up patients and there wasn’t enough food and milk to feed malnourished children. Nonetheless, Dr Ayman did what he could to take care of his patients. “All the Syrian people in Aleppo needed us, so we had to be stronger for them and we had to adapt to the new situation as best we could. We wanted them to always feel that they were not alone.”
One patient that Ayman especially remembers was an 11 month old baby girl. Her father carried her to the hospital after she was wounded in a bomb explosion. She had a severe leg wound and the orthopaedic surgeon wanted to perform an amputation. Fortunately, Dr Ayman knew there was a chance her leg could be saved. He successfully performed a vein bypass to restore the blood supply and later her leg was externally fixated so that the bone could heal properly.
To Ayman’s immense happiness, the little girl recently started walking.
Ayman is one of fourteen surgeons who will be joining us for our next UK-based training course. He hopes that the skills learnt on this course will enable him to better serve the Syrian people when he is able to return to his home country.
You can read about the other War Doctor Heroes by clicking here.
This blog first appeared on the David Nott Foundation Website
Photo credit: The David Nott Foundation.