Kids come face to face with the robot who saved their dad’s life at St Mark’s Hospital

Arjun and Sachi operate the surgical robot that saved their dad's life. Picture: London North West U

Arjun and Sachi operate the surgical robot that saved their dad's life. Picture: London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust - Credit: Archant

Robot-assisted operations are more common than ever, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a daunting prospect.

Brothers Arjun and Sachi Dave, who are nine and six respectively, were given a special look at the robot surgeon who helped save their dad's life at St Mark's Hospital.

Dad Samir was diagnosed with colon cancer in February, and when he had to have sudden surgery, his sons struggled to come to terms with what was happening to him.

Their mum Naleeni explained that Samir's surgeon, Danilo Miskovic had the perfect solution - he invited Arjun and Sachi to visit the operating theatre, and even let them try out the robot. "The boys were very unsettled and affected when their dad had to have very sudden surgery. This then led to even further anxiety for the boys about the much more complex operation their dad would have to have in the summer after chemo and radiation had failed.

"I spoke to Dr Miskovic about their concerns after hitting a few brick walls in how to plan to support them beyond the surgery and into the school holiday - and to our great relief, he seemed to understand exactly how he could play a role in helping them with their issues."

Both boys, who live with their parents in Harrow, enjoyed the experience. Arjun called it "a fun and exciting way of understanding how our dad's surgery took place", while Sachi was full of praise for the robot saying: "

"I like the robot so much, it was so much fun playing with the robot."

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Dr Miskovic, an experienced surgeon at the hospital added: "It was a pleasure chatting with them and they thought it was really cool when I suggested we have a look at the robot itself."

The pair even got the chance have a go on one of the robot's training programmes where they practiced surgical sutures using training simulation software.

Samir's surgery earlier in the summer went well, and although his recovery was "always likely to be a bumpy ride", Naleeni said it had been such a relief for the family that surgeons - including the robot - had been able to remove the cancer.