MSF + SMS = ‘Surgeon saves boy’s life by text’

by Jon Thompson on December 3, 2008

David Nott volunteers for a month a year with the medical charity

For the last few days I have been having a spirited discussion with Janet Ginsburg of InSTEDD offshoot Trackernews over at Paul Currion’s blog  This new blog post has helped bring me back to reality.  This is what it is all about:

A British doctor volunteering in DR Congo used text message instructions from a colleague to perform a life-saving amputation on a boy.

Vascular surgeon David Nott helped the 16-year-old while working 24-hour shifts with medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Rutshuru.

The boy’s left arm had been ripped off and was badly infected and gangrenous.

Mr Nott, 52, from London, had never performed the operation but followed instructions from a colleague who had.

The surgeon, who is based at Charing Cross Hospital in west London, said: “He was dying. He had about two or three days to live when I saw him.”

Read on…

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

J.A. Ginsburg December 4, 2008 at 4:52 am

Great story, Jon! Mind if I link to it on …

I’ve very much enjoyed our spirited discussion and look forward to it’s continuation.



Jon Thompson December 4, 2008 at 5:09 am

Not at all. Please do!

J.A. Ginsburg December 4, 2008 at 9:42 am

It’s in there! (I want to keep the funding links together so it’s slotted right under the ANDE / Acumen fund double)

– j

Leave a Comment