Thursday, 16 August 2012


   Having got married the same week I qualified in 1962 to Mary , a nurse who I had met during my time at Guys.   I returned to my hometown of Leicester hoping workload would be less intensive  than in a busy teaching hospital.   Alas my working life was extremely busy, especially A&E, which was as busy as it was exciting.   I did further surgical training in Lowestoft and Northampton, before moving to Liverpool following the completion of my FRCS exams in1965.

  I took a sabbatical year and worked as a surgeon in a Mission Hospital in the Ivory coast.   There I was in charge of a busy surgical department and learnt how to practice with minimal resources, enjoying a wide range of surgery.   Much of the surgery was performed as day cases, long before it became fashionable in the UK.   Patients would often travel up to 1000km to seek consultation; such was the renown of the hospital for its care and expertise.   There was no anaethetist but fortunately, before leaving Liverpool an anaethetist (SHO) had taught me in 24hrs the basics of administering a general anaesthetic.   For hernia, of which there were many cases we used spinals or local.

My next stop was Sunderland where I worked as a Consultant for 25yrs.   This was rewarding and enjoyable especially as it included paediatric surgery and teaching, which culminated in being a college tutor.

I retired in 1999 at the age of 61 to do volunteer work at another mission hospital in Kenya initially for nine months, returning the following year for a three month period and for each year since.   Enjoying the challenge of going back to basics after nearly 40 years in the NHS

Mary and I have been happily married for 50 years; we have three children and eight grandchildren.   I keep active by playing tennis , table tennis, gardening as well as enjoying photography plus plenty of fun with the grandchildren.   However , I retain a love for medicine, still teaching at the Sunderland General Hospital.

         David Sarson


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