South Sudanese doctor honors his South Korean mentor

Thomas Taban Akot. Photo: Inje University College of Medicine.

Juba, December 26, 2018 (SSNA) — A South Sudanese medical doctor Thomas Taban Akot who studied medicines in Inje University in South Korea honors a South Korean he described as “an older brother figure.”

Thomas Taban Akot, a 33-year old native of present-day Tonj State, met South Korean Priest John Lee Tae-seok in 2001 in his then Tonj village. The two men became close friends.

“I want to carry on the wishes of Father John Lee Tae-seok. I could never have been a doctor had it not been for Father Lee,” he said after meeting the University President and the Dean of Medical School.

Thomas revisited his former University on December after supporters of the deceased John Lee organized a campaign to cover his living and school expenses during his two years attending the Korean language learning center at Yonsei University. Some media reports in South Korea suggest that Inje University has also covered Akot’s tuition and dormitory costs for the past seven years as a part of honoring Lee’s wishes.

Lee, who also graduated from Inje University, died in 2009 after he contracted colon cancer. Lee was the one who encouraged him to study medicines in South Korea, according to Thomas.

Thomas is expected to start a one-year internship at Inje University Busan Paik Hospital by March 2019, the Korean Times reported.

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