A SURGEON who helped save a woman's life in the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand last year has been awarded a bravery medal.
Julian Shah, a consultant urologist at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, a specialist neuro-musculoskeletal hospital in Stanmore, was a guest speaker at a meeting on the country's South Island when the tremors struck on February 22.
He rushed to the town centre along with two junior doctors and rescuers handed him a hard hat.
On the fourth floor he helped a woman with a broken arm as she lay trapped and, as she was transferred to a crane rescue bucket, an aftershock threatened to flatten the building, forcing the surgeon and other rescuers to jump two metres on to the roof of an adjacent building.
He then navigated his way down a dark staircase using a torch on his mobile telephone before assisting the woman to hospital.
Mr Shah said: “It was a terrifying experience for many people, and one that will live on in my memory.” The earthquake killed 185 people.
He collected the Christchurch Medal for bravery at the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand’s annual dinner in Darwin, Australia, earlier this month.