Sheffield surgeons go extra miles to help children

Orthopaedic surgeons Stan Jones, bottom left, and James Fernandes, right, with a patient they helped.
Orthopaedic surgeons Stan Jones, bottom left, and James Fernandes, right, with a patient they helped.
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SURGEONS from Sheffield have given children in India the chance of walking for the first time by visiting the country to carry out vital operations.

A team of 10 specialist surgeons, anaesthetists and scrub nurses from Sheffield Children’s Hospital operated on more than 70 children with severe leg and bone problems during their time in Bangalore city.

During the visit – the fourth annual trip of its kind – the team took over the city’s SPARSH Hospital, operating for 12 hours a day for a week on disabled children from rural and tribal areas.

James Fernandes, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, said the experience had been ‘incredible and very humbling’.

He said: “The operations we performed were complex cases on disabled children who can’t afford to pay for the orthopaedic surgery they need.

“Aside from operating, we also gave training to the hospital’s staff and provided medical opinions on another 100 children.

“On each trip we get to see patients we have worked with in previous years, some who could not walk before and were restricted to wheelchairs.

“We get to see the results of our work and see them looking well and walking.”

The children are chosen from across India by local surgeons and receive treatment for conditions often not seen in the UK, such as severe limb deformities.

Funding for the trip is provided by the Sheffield medics themselves and they mainly use their holiday time to carry out the work.

Dr Ayman Eissa, a consultant anaesthetist who was on the trip for the second time, said: “We all feel so privileged to be able to make this trip and help some amazing children.

“We are treated so well when we come to visit, the kids are so happy to see us and we do everything we can to help them.”

As well as carrying out the surgical marathon, the team also met the Indian cricket team and Bollywood film actors.