Surgeon hailed a hero in earthquake rescue 

10/05/2012 00:00 

A UCLH consultant surgeon who crawled up a collapsed staircase on his hands and knees to help rescue a woman during an earthquake in New Zealand has been honoured for his "selfless act of bravery."

Julian Shah (right) receives his medal from Steve Ruthven, president of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand

Julian Shah (right) receives his medal from Steve Ruthven, president of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand


Julian Shah helped the severely injured victim who was pinned under a fallen beam on the top floor of a Christchurch building until she was taken down to ground level on a rescue crane.

Shortly afterwards, he and his fellow rescuers who were on the fourth floor were forced to leap across a chasm onto a neighbouring roof when a powerful aftershock rocked the building.

This month Julian flew to Darwin, Australia to receive a medal presented at the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand annual scientific conference. He had been among hundreds of urologists who had been attending a conference in Christchurch when the earthquake struck last February, killing 185 people.

Following the disaster, Julian said: "People were saying we were heroes and although I wouldn’t go that far, we did our best – we didn’t shirk from trying to help."

The inaugural Christchurch Medal for Bravery was presented to four urologists. The medal is a particularly poignant item – it is forged from metal taken from the destroyed Crowne Plaza Hotel, where the conference delegates had been staying.

Julian Shah in Christchurch following the earthquake last year

 Julian Shah in Christchurch following the earthquake last year

 

 

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