Pioneering innovator Dr Fiona Wood's monumental impact on medical science and burns treatment

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In the tract of medicine, fewer radical person made arsenic overmuch of an interaction arsenic Dr Fiona Wood.

A respected integrative and reconstructive surgeon, Wood is renowned for her ground-breaking enactment successful the attraction of burns victims. She has dedicated her beingness to helping those who person suffered from terrible burns and has made important contributions to the aesculapian assemblage successful Australia and beyond.

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Fiona WoodDr Fiona Wood AM FAHMS was Western Australia's archetypal pistillate integrative surgeon. (Tony McDonough)

In the aboriginal 1990s, Wood founded the Burns Unit astatine Royal Perth Hospital, which has since go 1 of the starring pain units successful the world.

But it was the calamity of the Bali bombings successful 2002 that saw Wood's enactment statesman successful earnest arsenic she was called upon to assistance dainty the victims. The onslaught killed 202 radical and injured hundreds more, galore with terrible burns.  

Originally from the northbound of England, Wood began her vocation astatine St Thomas' Hospital Medical School successful London, wherever she realised she wanted to enactment successful the tract of integrative surgery.

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"My mother's large enactment was, 'Grasp the nettle with 2 hands, girl, due to the fact that if you don't, idiosyncratic other will'," Wood says.

She besides developed a beardown involvement successful congenital issues specified arsenic cleft palate. But she felt herself drawn to the issues of burns aft learning astir forms of scarring. It was erstwhile she worked astatine the Queen Victoria Hospital successful the burns portion that she stared her lifelong ngo – helping burns patients. 

Moving to Australia successful the precocious 1980s, Wood reached retired to renowned integrative surgeon, the precocious Professor Harold McComb. Wood describes him arsenic "an bonzer antheral and an bonzer integrative surgeon. He was ever questioning the boundaries and looking to improve."

McComb became a immense inspiration to her and was portion of her travel successful grooming to go Western Australia's archetypal pistillate integrative surgeon. Wood was dedicated to improving outcomes for burns patients portion besides expanding the cognition of coiled healing.

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Fiona Wood and King Charles IIIWood with King Charles III successful 2005 astatine Royal Perth Hospital. (Getty)

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Wood rapidly became a person successful her field, becoming the Director of the Burns Service of WA, starring her squad and directing innovation for aboriginal attraction for burns patients. 

In 2002 with the horrific Bali bombings, Wood says the model to her satellite was unfastened arsenic radical wanted to cognize what she was moving on. Her top publication and enduring bequest is her enactment pioneering the innovative 'spray-on skin' method (Recell), which greatly reduces imperishable scarring successful burns victims.

Wood patented her method successful 1993 and contiguous the method is utilized worldwide.

"The exertion known arsenic spray-on tegument is taking tegument cells from a mean tract and the cells connected that tract are repairing, time successful and time out. So, we instrumentality that skin, and harvest those tegument cells, that are actively turning over. And we usage those to spray onto the skin," Wood says.

Wood established the Fiona Wood Foundation wherever wealth raised by the Foundation (mostly by investors) was enactment straight into research.

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Fiona WoodWood carrying the Olympic Torch on the streets of Canberra successful 2008. (Getty)

The occurrence of the spray-on tegument method was thing abbreviated of remarkable. Patients who had antecedently faced months oregon adjacent years of achy betterment were capable to heal overmuch faster and with little terrible scarring than different methods.

Wood's enactment earned her planetary designation and galore awards, including the Australian of the Year successful 2005.

"People tin suffer truthful overmuch tegument that it has a immense effect connected the assemblage and erstwhile they scar they are affected for life. I've worked successful this country and person for years tried to amended spray-on tegument cells, but this is conscionable 1 portion of the jigsaw towards making it better. We needed to get it connected quicker than we tin trim the scarring. That's my motivation, my thrust towards making it better," Wood says.

Wood has utilized her occurrence and power to assistance rise consciousness astir the value of pain prevention. She has been a vocal advocator for information measures specified arsenic fume detectors, fire-resistant clothing, and due information precautions successful the workplace. Her efforts person undoubtedly saved countless lives and prevented galore injuries.

"We each person a relation to play successful pain prevention. It's astir taking ownership of our ain information and being alert of the risks astir us," Wood says.

Wood was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) successful 2003. In 2004, she was awarded the WA Citizen of the Year grant for her publication to medicine successful the tract of burns research. 

Wood, who is joined to chap surgeon Tony Kierath and is parent to six children, continues to animate Australians from each walks of life.

"I don't deliberation immoderate of america should beryllium average. Everybody's got a gift, The accidental of uncovering your acquisition and past sharing it. There's conscionable nary country successful this satellite to beryllium average, you request to beryllium the champion you tin be," Wood says.

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