Heroic surgeon gets nomination

WHEN he developed a pain in his side, Gavin Elliott thought he had just pulled a muscle.

WHEN he developed a pain in his side, Gavin Elliott thought he had just pulled a muscle.

But when the pain turned to agony, he was told he had caught a ferocious bug which was eating his flesh.

The extremely rare necrotizing fasciitis superbug kills nearly 75 per cent of people it devours and with it rapidly spreading across Mr Elliot's torso and back, doctors feared for his life.

Luckily, one specialist at Ipswich Hospital diagnosed the condition quickly and performed a life-saving operation.

Now making a remarkable recovery after the terrifying events in June, Mr Elliott said he owes his life to the quick-thinking actions of consultant David Rae.

And the 34-year-old, of Rosehill Road, Ipswich, wanted to show his appreciation by nominating the surgeon for a Stars of Suffolk Award (Hospital Hero).

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Mr Elliott said: “I will always be grateful to him. When I first went into A&E, no-one was sure what had happened to me.

“But when Mr Rae came down, he knew exactly what was needed. He was on the button and saved my life.

“Hospitals often seem to get a negative press, so when they do a job like this they should be recognised.”

Mr Rae said: “I'm very flattered to be nominated. I'm sure there are many colleagues in this hospital who are equally deserving and I'm very grateful to Gavin for putting me forward.”

Mr Elliott's ordeal was highlighted in The Evening Star in September when he spoke out about his lucky escape.

He said: “The surgeons, doctors and nurses were fantastic. I dread to think what would have happened.”

Mr Rae was forced to cut away large areas of Mr Elliott's torso and then another surgeon grafted skin from his legs onto the area.

He was able to leave hospital in July in time to celebrate his first wedding anniversary with his wife, Sarah.

But during his recuperation, Mr Elliott contracted Clostridium-difficile which caused another life-threatening condition when his colon came close to bursting.

Mr Elliott, who is now back in his job full-time for a car dealership in Diss, said: “My wound is healing well and Mr Rae said I don't need to see him anymore.

“He has always been there for us and I think he has been amazed how quickly I have recovered.”


The Stars of Suffolk Awards is a search for community heroes and heroines and is a joint venture between The Evening Star and Suffolk County Council.

We want you to nominate someone who has touched your life or the lives of others for a special award.

The nominations will be judged by an independent panel and the winners revealed at a multimedia gala evening at the county council's Endeavour House on Thursday, February 5.

The closing date for entries will be on Friday, January 16.

To nominate, please fill out the form below or you can e-mail your entry to Simon Tomlinson at simon.tomlinson@eveningstar.co.uk. Alternatively, you can visit www.eveningstar.co.uk to download a form.