Link to website
It is with much sadness that we farewell Lola and her “extended family”. It would be so wrong not to include her beautiful daughter, Harper, and her dedicated nanny, Kate, when reflecting on the last 6 months. Lola came to us from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the most prestigious neurosurgical departments in the USA. So respected by her colleagues at the end of her residency Lola was offered a position back at Vanderbilt as an Assistant Professor. She started in that role 2 days after leaving Sydney! Lola gave new meaning to the title “Wonder Woman”. Not only did she fulfil her clinical duties with absolute dedication and precision, she also managed to be a loving and nurturing mother to Harper, who was only 4 months old when they arrived in Sydney. Lola is an excellent surgeon, a compassionate caregiver, a quick learner and, most impressively, an awesome Karaoke performer. Finally, I wanted to thank Sid, her devoted husband, for allowing us to have Lola and Harper for 6 months. We often forget the sacrifices that are made when fellows come across the oceans from faraway lands….not only by the fellows but also by their families. It is with much sadness that we say goodbye to the Chambless family and wish them the best of luck in Nashville.
In keeping with my love of nature and unique geographical places, I jump at any opportunity to teach, operate or visit South Africa. The level of neurosurgical care is excellent and some of the most innovative surgeons in history have originated from here….think Christian Barnard and Warwick Peacock. On one of my previous visits to Johannesburg to perform pro bono surgery I came across a young neurosurgeon who impressed me dramatically. He was head of his department in one of the largest public hospitals in one of the poorer sections of the city. He clearly wasn’t in it for the money and he and his beautiful wife, a plastic surgeon in the same institution, worked tirelessly to improve the care to impoverished patients. He was courageous enough to perform keyhole operations that he had learnt by reading my book, Principles and Practice of Keyhole Brain Surgery, without ever seeing it performed by someone else. His results were amazing. I wanted this person as my fellow. Thankfully, he agreed and the rest is history. Chris is a technically gifted surgeon. He has courage, dexterity, good clinical acumen, comprehensive knowledge of the literature and a caring nature. He taught us as much as we taught him and his enthusiastic personality was contagious. He will be a shining light in the field of innovative neurosurgery in his country and I am confident he will make a positive contribution to the overall welfare of both the privileged and impoverished people of South Africa. We wish him, his talented and beautiful wife, Bella, and their young family, the best of luck.