Mr David Nott OBE - the Indiana Jones of Surgery

17 August 2016


The Lister Hospital works in partnership with one of the most experienced war surgeons in London, Mr David Nott OBE, known as “the Indiana Jones of surgery”.

His passion for his work spans further than the UK, and he has previously been operating in a makeshift hospital in Aleppo, in the centre of the Syrian civil war. Mr Nott’s work in Syria has saved the lives of many civillians, the majority of them children who have been critically injured.

Mr Nott thrives on danger and admits he is excited by war. Previously, Mr Nott has worked in Liberia during the civil war, and remembers working in the capital Monrovia “with bullets flying over your head”.

Over the years, his work with MSF, the Red Cross, and the charity Syria Relief has taken him to Sierra Leone, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and of course, Syria.

Syria has been Mr Nott’s greatest challenge, visiting the country in 2013 and 2014 while the regime set about targeting hospitals and medical staff, with more than 365 attacks on hospitals recorded so far. As a consequence, only a few experienced surgeons are left in the country. During his second time in Aleppo, the hspital he was woring in was hit by a barrel bomb, and Mr Nott lost hearing in his right ear. Six of his colleagues were killed.

Ten days after returning from Syria, Mr Nott met the Queen who asked about his voluntary work, and he was unable to speak as it brought back horrific memories.

Mr Nott is still hopeful that Barack Obama will take action to stop the bloodshed, with Theresa May by his side, if not he thinks the fighting could last 20 years and continue to destabilise the rest of the world.

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