We all have people that have known us for a long time. If we are fortunate, some of them are in our corner and cheering us on. Most remarkably are the exceptional few that do it without any desire for recognition or self-promotion. Dr. Olufemi (Femi) Bankole is that person for many of us at NeuroKids. As we’ve shared before, Dr. Bankole was one of the first neurosurgeons trained by Dr. Benjamin Warf in the ETV/CPC procedure in 2006. Since then, Dr. Bankole has treated thousands of children in and around Lagos, Nigeria. He quietly became one of the foremost experts in the Warf method and has played an integral role in advancing surgical treatment and care for children with hydrocephalus on the African continent.
Always up for lending a hand, we’ve counted on Dr. Bankole many times over the years to solve a problem or contribute to an effort. Case in point, we recently ran into a delay in delivering equipment to a new partner site in Morocco. Thankfully, Dr. Bankole had a brand new set of flexible endoscopes in Nigeria. He graciously agreed to fly to Morocco to meet Dr. Warf in time for training the neurosurgeon there, new scopes in tow. We’ll point out that the distance between Nigeria and Morocco is roughly the same as flying between the East and West Coast in the United States. Not a short nor easy trip.
Over the next few months, Dr. Bankole is helping train neurosurgeons in Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire, providing expert support and mentoring to others as they seek to protect more children from hydrocephalus and spina bifida. We would be hard-pressed to find a more quintessential example of a team player and a model of humble leadership than Dr. Bankole, a true unsung hero making a huge difference in the lives of children and families all over the world.