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Inspiring story of refugee doctor and wounded soldier

AS AUSTRALIA prepares to commemorate another Anzac Day, the story of two men who know the devastating impact of war all too well will air on the SBS.

The Surgeon and the Soldier follows Iraqi-born Australian refugee and pioneering surgeon Dr Munjed Al Muderis as he fights to help former British soldier Michael Swain walk again.

In 2009, at just 20 years old, Swain lost both his legs in a horrific landmine explosion while serving his country in Afghanistan. Swain faced the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair.

Dr Al Muderis has also seen the horrors of war.

Born in Iraq, the surgeon fled his home in 1999 after refusing to oblige to Saddam Hussein’s brutal orders to maim rebel soldiers.

A decade to the day before Swain’s tragedy, Munjed landed on Christmas Island after a perilous journey seeking asylum, before being granted an Australian visa.

He is now an internationally well-respected pioneering surgeon and humanitarian, who has helped many amputees regain their mobility.

Prof Munjed Al Muderis and Michael Swain feature in SBS documentary The Surgeon and the Soldier.
Prof Munjed Al Muderis and Michael Swain feature in SBS documentary The Surgeon and the Soldier. Contributed

Now the two are joined for a battle to push the boundaries of science. The pair form a unique bond as Al Muderis works to develop never-before used bionic legs – facing controversy in the medical fraternity and meeting scientific challenges along the way.

The Surgeon and the Soldier is a story about overcoming the odds, the incredible work done by refugees in Australia, and the country’s position at the forefront of medical science.

“I belong to Australia”, Dr Al Muderis said.

“Australia is home … and because of Australia, I do what I’m doing.”

The Surgeon and the Soldier premieres at 8.30pm on Monday, April 24 on SBS.

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Inspiring story of refugee doctor and wounded soldier