A SURGEON and his GP wife and family were today set to leave their home in Leeds to embark on a two-year mission to help transform the lives of sick children in Africa.
Orthopaedic surgeon Tim Nunn and Dr Rachel Nunn are relocating from Garforth to fulfil a dream of putting their medical expertise to use in Ethiopia.
The couple’s children, Joel, six, Beka, 11, and Matt, 13, were this morning due to join their parents on a flight to Addis Ababa.
Mr Nunn, 42, will be performing operations on children suffering from limb deformities at the Cure Ethiopia Children’s Hospital in Addis Ababa.
Dr Rachel Nunn, also 42, who has been working as a GP at the Nova Scotia Medical Centre in Allerton Bywater, will be helping train Ethiopia’s first batch of GPs.
Mr Nunn, who has been working as an orthopaedic surgeon at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, has been on shorter trips to Ethiopia on three previous occasions.
But this time he will be seeking to help many more children and will also be training younger surgeons in Addis Ababa.
Mr Nunn said he will be operating on children with conditions that mean they struggle to walk and get to school.
He added: “The cases we usually see and treat are children who have been born with a club foot or with hips that are out of the sockets, or who have developed bowed legs.
“These children are unable to get to school and usually suffer a life of shame and exclusion. Once they get better they can get an education and go on to lead full and productive lives.
“This is my fourth trip to Ethiopia, but it is the first time for all the family – it’s a relocation rather than a trip.
“The children are obviously going to miss family and friends back in the UK. But our eldest, Matt, visited Ethiopia last year and was very enthusiastic.”
“This is something we have been looking for an opportunity to do for a long time. It is a long held dream for both of us.
“We have worked overseas in the past and we felt we couldn’t pass up this opportunity when it came up. It fits in well with out skills and our Christian faith.
“Ethiopia is a big country of nearly 90m people and this is the only dedicated children’s orthopaedic service in the country.
“It’s a small drop in the ocean, but with the teaching and training element hopefully it will be significant in the future.”