27 Aug 2015

From Baghdad to boat person to bionic surgeon

From Nine To Noon, 10:09 am on 27 August 2015

Kathryn Ryan talks to a Sydney-based surgeon at the forefront of osseointegration technology which has helped more than 100 amputees walk after being fitted with bionic titanium limbs. Dr Munjed Al Muderis had a privileged upbringing, born into one of Iraq's ruling families and beginning a career in medicine. But his life as a young medic in his homeland, under Saddam Hussein's rule took a dangerous turn when he and other Baghdad surgical colleagues were ordered to mutilate the ears of army deserters. He refused and paid a people smuggler for a passage on a leaky boat bound for Christmas Island. After reaching Australian soil, he spent 10 months in a refugee camp, and upon release completed his orthopaedic training and became a pioneering surgeon.