April 2020 Newsletter

Hello and welcome to our latest newsletter.

In this update, we will share our new arrangements in light of COVID-19, bring you the story of a Syrian surgeon and share the superb fundraising efforts of our Somerset supporters.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support and we hope you are keeping well at home.

 


A Note on COVID-19

 

Since our last newsletter, COVID-19 has developed into a global pandemic. We understand that this is a significant cause of anxiety for many, so we would first and foremost like to extend our wishes that you and your loved ones are safe and well.

Following the latest government advice, the David Nott Foundation office has closed and our staff are now working from home. The best way to contact us is via email at [email protected]

We have also had to postpone our surgical training courses and are currently developing new ways of reaching surgeons to provide them with training and advice. The pipeline of courses in planning continues to grow with a wide variety of partners to help train surgeons operating in austere conditions across the Middle East and Africa. We’re looking forward to rolling these out as soon as we can.


Spotlight on Dr Ayman

 

In this latest instalment of our #wardoctorheroes series, we're proud to introduce Dr Ayman  from Syria.

We 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 lives.

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.

You can read the full story and hear about our other war doctors here.

 


Star Fundraisers

 

Back in February, two small businesses put their heads together and came up with a brilliant fundraising idea – a charity dinner! Based in Chilcompton, Somerset, ‘The Holy Cow’ café and ‘The Pudding Kitchen’ pulled together a delicious four course meal, complete with craft drinks and a tasty dessert selection.

Rachel Middleton, from The Pudding Kitchen, was inspired after her friend sent her a link to David’s Desert Island Discs. After that, she was hooked! We’re thrilled that the team managed to raise over £1,000 for us - enough to train one surgeon on our overseas HEST course.

We love hearing about your creative fundraising efforts, so let us know if you’ve got anything exciting planned.

 


To the frontline heroes: thank you

 

 


 



War Doctor Heroes: Meet Dr Ayman

Meet Dr Mohammed Ayman, a Syrian vascular surgeon and our latest War Doctor Hero.

We 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 some of our other War Doctor Heroes by clicking here.


A Tasty Fundraiser!

Back in February, two small businesses put their heads together and came up with a brilliant fundraising idea – a charity dinner! Based in Chilcompton, Somerset, ‘The Holy Cow’ café and ‘The Pudding Kitchen’ pulled together a delicious four course meal, complete with craft drinks and a tasty dessert selection.

Rachel Middleton, from The Pudding Kitchen, was inspired after her friend sent her a link to David’s Desert Island Discs. After that, she was hooked! We’re thrilled that the team managed to raise over £2,000 which was split between us and the Wallace and Gromit Appeal – another fantastic cause.

We love hearing about your creative fundraising efforts, so let us know if you’ve got anything exciting planned.


War Doctor has landed in the United States!

War Doctor, David's harrowing memoirs of surgery on the front-lines, has arrived in book shops across the US. Spanning over 25 years, David Nott recollects his time volunteering in some of the world's worst humanitarian catastrophes.

To purchase a copy or gift one to your friends across the pond, you can visit Abrams Books' website by clicking here.

"Culminating in his recent trips to war-torn Syria—and the untold story of his efforts to help secure a humanitarian corridor out of besieged Aleppo to evacuate some 50,000 people—War Doctor is a heart-stopping and moving blend of medical memoir, personal journey, and nonfiction thriller that provides unforgettable, at times raw, insight into the human toll of war."  - Abrams Books


February 2020 Newsletter

Hello and welcome to our first newsletter of 2020!

In this month's issue, we reflect on our recent mission to Yemen, and share Dr Koma Akim's story. We'll also be offering you a chance to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon on behalf of the Foundation!

Thank you as always for your continued support and generosity. 


HEST Yemen

 

The DNF team, in partnership with MSF Spain, recently returned from our latest mission to Yemen, which brought in 31 surgeons from across the country for a specialised five-day training course.

Since 2015, Yemen has been the stage of one of the world's worst humanitarian catastrophes. At the front-lines of this conflict are the surgeons and medics who face the challenge of saving lives with limited training and a lack of resources. Our Hostile Environment Surgical Training course (HEST) was designed to confront this problem, training doctors in a wide range of trauma topics including obstetrics, abdominal, orthopaedics and paediatrics.

Using our bespoke body simulator, our cutting edge VR learning experience and a range of case studies, our Faculty was successful in equipping these surgeons with the specialised skills they need to be the best doctors possible.

You can read more about this course and our other missions here.


On your marks....get set.....go!

Last October, we were thrilled to have six runners take on the Royal Parks Half Marathon on behalf of DNF. A first for the Foundation! Raising over £10,000 between them, their efforts were enough to fund ten places on our overseas training course.

Building on last year's success, we have reserved nine spots for the 21km race this October. So, if you're looking for a challenge and would like to actively raise money for the Foundation, please fill out this Google form to tell us about your motivation for running the Royal Parks Half.

Places will go fast and the Google form closes on Friday 21st February so be quick!

 


Spotlight on Dr Koma Akim

 

In this latest instalment of our #wardoctorheroes series, we're proud to introduce Dr Koma Akim  from South Sudan.

Koma regularly deals with gunshot and arrow wounds as a result of cattle rustling and violent ethnic clashes. The patients that survive long enough to reach his care are often in a very bad state, and Dr Akim lacks the medical resources to treat them.

In 2019, Koma attended our London-based STAE course where he learnt vital plastic surgery and vascular skills. He told us: “being able to practise it means I have the confidence to do it in a real situation. If I can do it, I can teach it.”

 

 

 


Have your say!

Your feedback matters to us.We want to ensure that we're keeping you up to date with important news and telling you the stories that you want to hear.

If you have a moment, it would mean a lot to us if you could fill in our communications survey. Tell us what we're doing right and what we could do better and we'll take your advice on board. 

Thank you for your time!

 

 

 

 




two-young-men-on-bicycles-in-scotland-as-they-raise-money-for-the-david-nott-foundation

Doctors Supporting Doctors

Through the extraordinary dedication of three doctors, Keiran Macleod, Elliott Taylor and Richard Elston, a total of £2,500 has been raised to help us train more doctors working in austere environments. Together, they have cycled 2,000 miles in two epic cycling trips and raised more than £1 per mile!

man-with-bicycle-points-to-lands-end-sign-on-his-charity-cycle-for-the-david-nott-foundation

Keiran and Elliott were studying medicine at St Andrews and found themselves graduating at the same time that David received his honorary degree. Totally inspired after hearing about his work, they decided to take on the North Coast 500 Challenge in Scotland in August. As if cycling 500 miles each wasn’t enough of an ordeal in itself, they carried everything on their bikes and camped each night.

Meanwhile, also starting out in Scotland, Richard and four others began their epic journey cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End.  Richard tells us why he chose to do this for the Foundation: “This cause is especially close to my heart.  Working in the NHS, I am always amazed at the speed with which huge resources and expertise are mustered to help anyone seriously unwell, regardless of their age, social standing or race. Sadly, this parity of healthcare does not extend across the globe to those who need it most. However, a small contribution could help train one surgeon and in turn save hundreds of lives. Civilians are mercilessly targeted as conflicts become more asymmetrical and belligerents turn to unconventional weapons, causing complex injury patterns for an overwhelming number of patients in an already challenging environment.  Local doctors who work incredibly hard however, often lack the advanced training to save patients who could survive.”

To help us train even more doctors working in war zones, donate here today.


HEST in Libya

HESTHEST faculty in Misrata

It was the early hours of 4 March when our DNF team touched down at Misrata airport.  David and Ammar were this time joined by Harald Veen, formerly Chief Surgeon of the Red Cross and now a valued addition to our teaching faculty.

Over the next three days they taught 55 Libyan doctors in the skills they need to provide the best surgical care for patients with complex injuries.

The doctors had travelled from across the country from towns including Tripoli, Misrata, Houn and Sabha.  The majority specialised in general surgery but there were also orthopaedic surgeons, an obstetrician and a neurosurgeon present; demonstrating the relevance of our training programme to all medical specialities.

The course concluded with a practical workshop at Misrata Central Hospital where they put their newly-learnt skills into practice with tuition from David, Ammar and Harald on vascular, general surgical, neurosurgical and facio-maxillary techniques.

We have already had three applications for scholarships from surgeons attending the Misrata course and look forward to continuing to build our friendships with the doctors of Libya.


Yemen HEST July 2016

David Nott Foundation ran a HEST course in Aden, Yemen from 10-12 July, 2016. 43 surgeons from hospitals in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Lawder and Shabwa attended the three-day war surgery training.

David showed the doctors how to treat a variety of complicated war injuries, principally fragmentation and gunshot wounds.  There had been an increase in suicide bomb attacks and bombs placed under cars in recent weeks, causing horrendous blast injuries which David also showed the doctors how to treat.

The Foundation taught the course at the invitation of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as part of their regular training for local doctors and nurses.

David said: “I was thrilled to receive the invitation from MSF to run the HEST course in Yemen and am delighted to say we have had more invitations to run courses from other aid agencies in various countries.  It shows the huge importance of the work we are doing and the very real need for surgical training in war zones.”


Scholarship to help Nepalese student reach more people following earthquake disaster

A postgraduate student who has treated more than 25,000 people cut off from healthcare following an earthquake has received a prestigious scholarship to further his work.

Dr Aban Gautam, who is originally from Nepal and currently studying for a masters in clinical research (MClinRes) at the University of Plymouth, was selected to receive the David Nott Foundation scholarship.

You can read the full article here.