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Fiji Time: 6:49 AM on Wednesday 30 July

/ Front page / Editorial Comment

Act of bravery

Fred Wesley
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Labasa-born Vinay Dass, 43, probably never dreamt that he would one day be a hero in another country.

Now that the former Fiji resident has been nominated for the Pride of Australia medal for saving the life of a neurologist on February 18 this year, he has made the headlines in his adopted country.

Apart from being a nominee for the national Australian award and the bravery award by the Victorian Police, Mr Dass, has already been given a recognition award by his employer, the Western Health Hospital at Footscray, Melbourne.

The award and the two nominations are in recognition of his effort to save a life.

The hospital's equipment technician, with the assistance of four others, saved neurosurgeon Michael Wong's life that morning.

Mr Dass was in his office at 7.30am when he heard a commotion, and saw people running along the corridor.

He had run out, probably as an instinctive reaction.

It was when he arrived at the hospital's reception, that he saw the neurologist on the floor bleeding.

He had been stabbed 14 times by his assailant.

Mr Dass, again, probably fuelled by adrenalin had picked up an A-frame and yelled at the assailant, drawing his attention away from the fallen Dr Wong.

This selfless act allowed four other people at the reception area to drag Dr Wong to the emergency area.

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

Dr Wong, who was the head of the neurosurgery at Western Health Hospital at the 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 was quoted as saying in the Australian media.

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

His action, while dangerous, helped save a life and is an apt reminder of the human spirit and how it can reach out in the face of great danger.

Today we acknowledge this man's act of bravery.

Meanwhile, avid golfers are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of finally seeing Vijay Singh representing Fiji at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Understandably there are equations to be sorted, and criteria to be met, but the mere fact that there is a potential for the big Fijian to don Fiji's colours in Rio is great news.

Singh is in contention to represent the nation in Rio when the sport returns after more than a century since it was last played at the third Olympiad in Saint Louis, US, in 1904.

Only time will tell though whether Singh gets to wear Fiji's colours.

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