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Ian T. Jackson: Colossus of Craniofacial Surgery
Life is not important except in the impact that it has on other lives.
It was March 1987. For the first time in history, India had the proud privilege of hosting the World Congress of the International Confederation of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. Despite the presence of a galaxy of international stalwarts, it was Ian T. Jackson who undoubtedly stole the thunder with his outstanding presentations on the reconstruction of the orbit following resection of tumors and neurofibromatosis. To add to this, his work on craniomaxillofacial trauma, hypertelorism, and craniosynostosis received tremendous appreciation.
This visit heralded a long and fruitful association between Dr. Jackson and the Indian plastic surgery fraternity. He became a familiar figure in the annual meetings of the plastic surgery and was often the lead faculty at various operative workshops on craniofacial surgery and esthetic surgery. Over the next 15 years, he visited India on more than 20 occasions and left an indelible impression on the Indian plastic surgery scene. His work sparked interest in hitherto unexplored areas and inspired young plastic surgeons to explore newer vistas. Countless numbers of Indian plastic surgeons made a beeline to his hospital at Southfield in the United States to get insight in person into the latest in plastic surgery. He welcomed visitors from India and took great trouble to make their visits fruitful. This umbilical cord has remained as strong as ever.
He was an excellent clinician, as well as a dedicated researcher. Academically inclined throughout his career, he was a prolific author and a teacher par excellence. What stood out though, was his humanitarian attributes. In a word, he was perhaps a true karmayogi.
15 February 2021 (online)
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