A surgeon at Ealing Hospital who came to the UK as a 10-year-old child refugee from Sudan has told her story on BBC Radio London.
Sala Abdalla talked about the journey with her family and her determination to pursue a career in medicine where she works at the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) hospital.
Ms Abdalla, whose family came to the UK from the Sudan, says she was determined to follow a career in medicine after being shocked by private healthcare in Sudan.
She said: “We left the Sudan when I was a ten-year-old but it made a real impression on me that if you didn’t have money you were often destined to die prematurely of otherwise treatable conditions.”
When Ms Abdalla first came to the UK, she could only speak Arabic but was determined to immerse herself in education and learning. She said: “I sought solace in education and my teachers were extremely supportive. They never doubted that I would make it and I owe them a lot of gratitude.”
“My advice to any young woman interested in a surgical career is to never think it is beyond them. Surgery is one of the most demanding of medical disciplines, requiring years of dedication, discipline and resilience.
“However, it teaches you to become confident, decisive and an excellent problem solver. It is a rewarding career with opportunities to develop additional interests such as in research, teaching and mentoring.”