Dr. Clayton Lang, 43, a renowned plastic surgeon in Adelaide, South Australia (SA), died along with this father, Dick, after getting trapped in fires in a Kangaroo Island bushfire on Friday, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Dr. Lang, who specialized in hand surgery, supervised surgical training at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in South Australia. He consulted privately at Dextra Surgical in Adelaide, Maitland Medical Center, and Gawler Medical Clinic.
Dr. Rhea Liang, who was Dr. Lang’s colleague, tweeted, “Shocked. Utterly shocked. Clayton was a colleague, a true gentleman, and a skilled surgeon.”
Dr. Liang told Medscape Medical News that she used to work closely with Dr. Lang when they were young consultants.
She said, “He was a kind and gentleman who didn’t stand on hierarchy, treating everyone the same. He extended the same respect to his patients, who trusted him deeply. No matter how long or stressful the operation, I never saw him raise his voice or lose his composure.”
The American Medical Association also took to Twitter to pay its respect, stating that he was “well known to many in the AMA, both in SA [South Australia] and nationally.”
The police said Dr. Lang and his father died on Playford Highway in the center of the island.
In a statement, the Lang family said, “Helen [Dick’s wife] and the family are heartbroken and reeling from this double tragedy and are touched by people’s thoughts at this difficult time.”
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Dr. Lang had two daughters with his wife, Christie.
Plastic Surgeons Australia tweeted, “ASPS is deeply saddened to learn that one of our members, Clayton Lang and his father Dick died yesterday in the bushfires on Kangaroo Island. Our thoughts are with their family, our South Australian colleagues, especially at Dextra Surgical and our members.” The ongoing devastating bushfire in eastern Australia has killed at least 23 people in NSW, Victoria, and SA.