Dr. LAW Sheung-wai has often been described as a “modest person with a great heart”, and his humanitarian work has gained him considerable admiration from his peers and patients.
Dr. LAW, who serves as Honorary Chief-of-Service in Orthopaedics and Traumatology at Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital and Professor of Practice in CUHK Medical Centre, had been an active volunteer at the Hong Kong Salvation Army Elderly Centre, visiting homes to educate the elderly on osteoporosis, fall prevention tips and home safety.
However, it was his work in the aftermath of the massive 2008 Sichuan earthquake that propelled him to public attention. His empathy towards the survivors, many of whom were young people who had lost their limbs, knew no bounds.
In the weeks following the tragedy, Dr. LAW was devastated to see some of the casualties during his visit in a Guangzhou hospital. As an orthopaedic surgeon, he knew that providing amputees with prosthesis in the early post-operative period was essential. Through the Hong Kong-based "StandTALL Project”, which was led by Professor CHAN Kai-Ming to solicit donations for the victims, Dr. LAW travelled with other medical volunteers to Guangzhou every weekend, armed with temporary prosthetics, and mobile physiotherapy and occupational therapy equipment.
Dr. LAW introduced prothesis to amputees of Sichuan earthquake.
Dr. LAW provided rehabilitative service to amputees of Sichuan earthquake.
Under the project, Dr. LAW introduced smart prosthetics and other advanced rehabilitation technology to the mainland hospitals. He trained hundreds of rehab workers, teaching his students social responsibility by organising mainland visits that exposed them to the rehab work on the ground. His philosophy is: “No matter how good medical technology is, if you don’t put in the human factor, it won’t work.”
While donations dwindled over time, Dr. LAW never stopped helping the amputees. Many of the survivors he had helped via the StandTALL project have become his friends; they include a young female amputee who now holds two university degrees, and another one a famous paralympic table tennis player. His personal belief is, as long as there are resources, he will continue helping these patients.
A recipient of the 2017 Hong Kong Humanity Award, Dr. LAW is, indeed, a humanitarian in the true sense of the word.