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Hero's tale

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A FORMER Fiji citizen has been nominated for the Pride of Australia medal award for saving the life of a neurologist who was involved in a brutal hospital stabbing in Australia on February 18 this year.

Apart from being a nominee for the national award and the bravery award by Victoria Police, Labasa-born Vinay Dass, 43, was given a recognition award by his employer, the Western Health Hospital at Footscray, Melbourne.

The award, and two nominations, strives to recognise the hospital's equipment technician, who with the assistance of four others, helped save neurologist Michael Wong's life that morning.

In an interview via electronic mail last night, Mr Dass said he was at work at 7.30am and was in his office when he heard some commotion, and at the same time seeing people running along the corridor.

He said he also ran out and when he arrived at the hospital reception, he saw the neurosurgeon on the floor bleeding after being stabbed 14 times by the assailant.

He said he picked up an A-frame and yelled at the assailant to draw his attention.

He said while he engaged the assailant's attention, four other people at the reception dragged Dr Wong to the emergency area.

"I engaged him so that he would not try to harm other people at the reception area," Mr Dass said.

The former Australian Air Force technician said he kept the assailant engaged until the hospital security arrived and further assisted them to calm the man before police arrived and arrested him.

In an interview with news agency Herald Sun, Dr Wong, who was the head of the neurosurgery at Western Hospital at that time, said he would have bled to death without those who rescued him.

"They were very, very brave people, it's bravery akin to a war situation. I'm not permanently disabled, I'm back to work. What they did was lifesaving," he told the news agency.

Dr Wong received stab wounds to the back, arms, hands, legs, chest, abdomen and head, and suffering a punctured lung.

Proud sister Sarina Dass told The Fiji Times that his brother, who was born in Labasa and grew up in Jittu Estate, was always proud of his Fijian background and his actions spoke volume of this pride that inspired him to help people and even strangers in trouble.

Mr Dass is among five of his colleagues who are being nominated for the Pride of Australia medal.

In an interview with news agency Herald Sun, Dr Wong, who was the head of the neurosurgery at Western Health Hospital at that time, said he would have bled to death without those who rescued him.

"They were very, very brave people, it's bravery akin to a war situation. I'm not permanently disabled, I'm back to work. What they did was lifesaving," he told the news agency.

Dr Wong received stab wounds to the back, arms, hands, legs, chest, abdomen and head, and suffering a punctured lung.

Proud sister Sarina Dass told The Fiji Times his brother, who was born in Labasa and grew up in Jittu Estate, was always proud of his Fijian background and his actions spoke volumes of this pride that inspired him to help people and even strangers in trouble.

Mr Dass is among five of his colleagues who are being nominated for the Pride of Australia medal.





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