David Young honoured by Sri Lankan President – By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE with Johann Dias Jayasinha
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena presented Australian doctor David Young with the country’s second highest Honour conferred to non-nationals, ‘The Sri Lanka Ranjana’, at the annual National Awards Ceremony held at the Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) on August 19.
Dr. David Young needs little introduction in Australia and now Sri Lanka for his selfless deeds to help those with joint problems or others in need of proper medical equipment and training in the field of Orthopaedic surgery in which he is one of the leading specialists in
David has a special place in his heart for Sri Lanka after his initial introduction to the island nation through a picture postcard he received from his grandfather in 1970.
His Fascination for Sri Lanka and its need for expertise in his chosen field soon had him introduced to Sri Lanka’s cricket team that won the World Cup in 1996 through then coach Sri Lankan born Australian Dav Whatmore.
David Young has since made numerous visits to the Island since then on mercy missions including being instrumental in lecturing and offering specialist advice to local orthopaedic professionals.
His indefatigable efforts to bring Sri Lanka up to international standards in the orthopaedic field saw him initiate a project which raised US $3 million which was given to the Sri Lankan govcernment to set up an Accident and Emergency Trauma treatment unit in Batticloa. This was soon after thee dreaded Tsunami hit Sri Lanka among other countries losing thousands of lives.
David Young led a team of volounteers to Sri Lanka in 2004 after receiving an SOS from Sri Lanka spin great Mutthiah Muralidaran soon after the Tsunami hit the island nation.He worked alongside locals in less than ideal conditions and in a tension filled situation due to the conflict at the time between the LTTE and the Sri Lanka government forces.
He ended up in Batticaloa and worked at the Teaching Hospital in less than ideal conditions. He was complimentary of the staff who had worked non-stop for days but was appalled at the lack of resources, instruments and equipment to treat the injured.It was then that he pledged to return and help build a modern state of the art accident and emergency trauma treatment unit at the Batticaloa Hospital.
Cricket stars including Mutthiah Muralidaran, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena,Angelo Matthews, Rangana Herath and Lasith Malinga were among the numerous sports people that sought orthopaedic treatment and care from David Young. He gave them his
attention often without charge as he did for a number of other sports people, rugby players, athletes and sports men and women from the less prominent sports.
‘The Sri Lanka Ranjana’ is the second-highest Honour conferred to non-nationals and this year the award was presented to three personalities. They are Dr. Cumaraswamy Sivathasan, Dr. David Alexander Young and Prof. Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran.