He came to Australia by boat, now he’s returning to Iraq as a world-leading surgeon
An Iraqi refugee, turned amputee surgeon, has returned home to treat people injured in the years of brutal warfare.
Dr Munjed Al Muderis fled Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1999 after being ordered to mutilate army deserters by cutting off their ears.
He tells Alan Jones that after the head of surgery was killed for refusing to carry out the order, he fled the medical centre fearing for his life.
“I ended up escaping. I had to hide in the female toilet in a cubicle for five hours. It felt like five years.”
He escaped to Malaysia, then got on a boat to Australia, where he was sent to a maximum security jail in WA before spending months in mandatory detention.
Dr Muderis is now a world leader in osseointegration surgery, using cutting-edge technology to attach prosthetic limbs directly into the bones of amputees.
He says watching The Terminator as a child made him think of the idea to “mend human beings with machine”.
“Being raised in a war-torn country I’ve seen a lot of disabled people around the streets.
“Because of the lack of welfare system, they become a burden on the society. I decided that this is something we can do better.”
Click PLAY below to hear the incredible interview
Alan was so impressed with Dr Muderis that he invited him back to share more of his story.
He tells Alan how he received an out of the blue phone call from the Iraqi PM, asking if he’d be prepared to go back to Iraq to help people injured in the war.
“Straight away, without any hesitation, I said yes I would go back.”
Dr Muderis even paid for the travel, medical team and excess baggage himself.
On the last day of his first trip back to Iraq, he managed to see 93 patients in just 45 minutes.
Now he’s about to head back for his seventh visit.
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His new book Going Back describes his return to Iraq, 18 years after he fled the country, to operate on victims on war.