A VASCULAR surgeon who saved the life of a four-year-old in the aftermath of New Zealand’s terrorist shootings has paid tribute to the consultant who trained him at Shropshire's acute hospitals.

Dr Adib ‘Eddie’ Khanafer was completing a surgery at New Zealand’s Christchurch Hospital when he was called to operate on a young girl with a gunshot wound who was fighting for her life.

The patient had been brought in with no pulse after spending 30 minutes in cardiac arrest, and although paediatric surgeons had managed to revive her they were struggling to control the bleeding.

Dr Khanafer, who trained with Shropshire and Telford Hospital Trust, scrubbed up and saved the life of the young girl, repairing a vein in her pelvis that had been shredded by the impact of the bullet.

As of last week the patient is doing “extremely well” and is in a stable condition. Her father, who was treated in intensive care at the same hospital, continues to make a good recovery.

Dr Khanafer said: “I have four kids. The youngest is seven, the oldest is 14, so I just imagined that she was one of my children. I just wanted her to survive. I couldn’t let her die on the table. I was able to perform my job and I left my emotion after.

The Shropshire-trained doctor has since shown his gratitude to Tony Fox, the vascular consultant who trained him at SaTH, and sent a message to everyone who use Shropshire’s two acute hospitals: “Although it has been almost 10 years since I lived in Shrewsbury, I continue to mention Tony Fox’s great impact on my training to my registrars, because of which I turned out to be a competent surgeon.

“I am proud I saved a young girl’s life and that, in no small part, is thanks to Tony for my skills. I would like the public to know that a trainee from SaTH was involved, and with a good outcome.”

Reflecting on the incident that claimed the lives of 50 people, with scores more suffering serious injury, Dr Khanafer said: “This shouldn’t have happened. No matter our faith or our colour, we’re all human. We all bleed. We all want to live in a safe world.

“I am from England. I am a Muslim, I am an Arab and all my colleagues - Kiwis - have not stopped emailing me, texting me and sending me flowers and that makes me proud. Life is going back to normal as the whole country unite.”

Mr Tony Fox, consultant vascular surgeon at SaTH, said: “Eddie’s words have made me emotional and proud. I was very sorry that Eddie did not remain in Shropshire, he would have been a great ambassador for his patients here as he is in New Zealand.

“Eddie clearly handled himself flawlessly in the face of Christchurch’s atrocity. He is inspirational. Our training as surgeons takes time but it does prepare us for these occasions when instinct and surgical expertise saves lives.”