David Nott

The Telegraph: ‘There is a buzz to cheating death’, says war zone surgeon David Nott

In his time spent in war zones, he has seen it all: men with their ears chopped off and machete wounds to the back of their necks, children with perforated bodies and torn-off limbs, women shot through the womb by snipers, their babies delivered dead.

Rage is the very last emotion you would associate with David Nott, a softly-spoken British surgeon with nerves of steel. When Isis fighters armed with AK47s burst into the operating theatre as he was trying to save the life of one of their own, he went on repairing the man’s pulmonary artery, the clear brain and steady hand never seeming to falter though his legs had turned to jelly.

In his time spent in war zones, he has seen it all: men with their ears chopped off and machete wounds to the back of their necks, children with perforated bodies and torn-off limbs, women shot through the womb by snipers, their babies delivered dead.

Young men burned by incendiaries. He operates quickly, in primitive conditions, always short of supplies. In some field hospitals the background thud of bombs is constant. He squelches through blood.

During his last stint in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a young boy was carried in with the backs of his buttocks and legs blown off. On his face were mysterious blobs of white. Then his sister was brought in with her head smashed. “The blobs on his face were her brains. That epitomised the horror of it all”, he says.

Read the full article here.

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