100. Dr Hassan Shehata; World-Leading Miscarriage Expert on Torture in a Sudanese Prison, Bob Marley in Jamaica and Donald Trump on Medication - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 100
July 15 , 2020

100. Dr Hassan Shehata; World-Leading Miscarriage Expert on Torture in a Sudanese Prison, Bob Marley in Jamaica and Donald Trump on Medication

Pioneering obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Hassan Shehata grew up in Khartoum in Sudan. As a junior doctor he was thrown headlong into revolution, military Islamic extremism, beatings and torture. We talk about his horrific time in ‘ghost house’ prisons, life in Sudan and Egypt, sitting on Bob Marley’s bed in Jamaica, Donald Trump and Hydroxychloroquine, following Liverpool FC around the world and his extraordinary work in helping people become parents. Dr Hassan Shehata, our 100th episode, is also the man who helped Lisa and David have children after 5 miscarriages. One day in the clinic she was astounded when he told her his extraordinary story.


On this episode we cover: 


Dr Shehata’s difficult recovery from Covid 19

The real deal behind Hydroxychloroquine and Donald Trump

India soldiers, Malaria and gin and tonic

How the NHS and private sector manage the emotional side of illness

The conference in Italy that sparked his interest in miscarriage immune treatment

Growing up in a medical family in Sudan

The Italian Convent school he attended in Sudan

Being educated by Catholic Nuns and Priests in Khartoum in ‘the Eton of Sudan’

The old-school colonial university of Khartoum

The 1985 Sudanese revolution being an amazing time to be a student

Doctors being at the frontline for democracy

The June 1989 military coup by military officer Omar al-Bashir (who would go on to rule the country until he was overthrown in 2019!)

Seeing all his colleagues taken to prison

Standing on a soap box

Being arrested for the first time and put into a ‘ghost house’

Initially being very well treated

Going into hiding until they took his grandfather instead

Beatings and torture

His colleagues being killed by baseball bats

The danger of being incarcerated by very young men

The day they told him was going to be executed

Being driven blindfolded through the desert

The shocking place he was thrown out the car

Escaping to Egypt without a passport

His policeman uncle in Cairo

The physical beatings he had

Being spat at being the most degrading

But the worse torture being sleep deprivation

Witnessing colleagues having their nails pulled out

His friend being beaten to death with a baseball bat

Fellow doctors physical checking them to see if they could take more torture

That government lasting 30 whole years

Islamic fanatics military government killing millions

How it felt to be dragged to the car supposedly to be executed

Being thrown barefoot, shaking and confused into the street

Feeling very low when by Egypt

His pilot uncle being shot down in Palestine and missing presumed dead

Travelling through Egypt as a child in Cairo

His grandfather representing him at his own wedding!

His wife Selma having photos in her dress with the family

Travelling to Saudi Arabia during the World Cup 1990

Travelling from Rhiad through incredible desert (to watch England v Cameroon)  

Regular holidays in London as a child to stay in Marble Arch

Still being surprised and delighted by London

Being an avid Liverpool supporter

His first son being an Essex boy

Working in different UK hospitals as a junior doctor

Looking back on his time in prison

Life in the UK rewarding him for his hard work

Selling cornflakes shop to shop to raise money to travel 

Four naïve boys from Khartoum crossing Europe as a student; Athens to Brindisi, Bologna, Milano, Venice, Genoa, Cannes, Marseilles, Nice, Barcelona and Madrid

Discovering years later they were eating pork

Getting conned during Ramadan in a dodgy nightclub

Sudanese passports being refused by Yugoslavia

Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe at the Jamaica Inn

Visiting Bob Marley’s house

Picture perfect Thailand at the Four Seasons

Going to Rio for the World Cup

Waking up to an ITV crew outside their window

Having breakfast with Ian Wright in Brazil

Heartbroken in Kiev when Liverpool lost

But celebrating watching Liverpool win in Madrid

Spine-tingling moments hearing You’ll Never Walk Alone for the first time in a stadium in Khartoum in 1982

Lisa’s Liverpool connections mean that song makes her cry too

The overwhelming feelings when one of his patients become parents