Dr D C Ding: Tributes to a ‘loving and generous’ man

Just Regional
Dec 7, 2015 3 mins read

The family of former Aylsham man Dr Ding Col Dau Ding, who tragically lost his life in South Sudan, East Africa, in October just short of his 40th birthday, has paid tribute to the “caring, loving, generous and loyal” man.

Brother Dr Dau Ding said Ding was “an incredible person who gave his all to everything he did. Ding was caring, loving, generous, loyal and lived his life to the fullest.”

Ding was born in Devon in 1975 and then attended school in Scotland, where his family lived before they moved to Aylsham when he was 10. He attended Aylsham Middle School and then Aylsham High, before going on to Paston Sixth Form College in North Walsham.

Ding was a keen sportsman and a talented footballer growing up, playing for his school teams. He was selected to play for Norfolk County School Boys, Norwich City Youth Development Team and England School Boys.

But, aged 13, Ding was suddenly afflicted with a debilitating muscle disease which temporarily halted his junior football development.

“This was a turning point,” said Dau. “Ding then decided to focus his attentions away from sport and more towards his academic studies in which he excelled.”

After completing his A-levels at Paston College in 1998, Ding then attended The University of Bristol where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Pharmacology in 2001. Following this, Ding then went on to join St Peter’s College, Oxford University, where he was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Neuroscience in 2004.

In one of the many peer reviews of Ding’s PhD thesis from Oxford, the following was written: “A timely piece of work. Well thought through; effectively argued and compelling cases made for this important and clinically relevant neural network to be understood – this may enable a better understanding of key players in neurological disorders. A first class and excellent item of literature”.

Ding was also a member of the Academy of Neuroscientists.

Work took him to near Manchester for a brief period, before his zealousness for academia made him decide to pursue further studies and subsequently he rejoined The University of Bristol to study medicine. After graduating in 2011, Ding went on to complete his postgraduate junior doctor training in London.

Immediately after receiving his full GMC registration in 2013, Ding decided to take a three-year break away from his further UK postgraduate specialist training and to return to his ancestral home in South Sudan to start work as a doctor at the family surgery and medical practice, Airport Road Diagnostic Centre (ARDC), along with his brother and father Dr Col Ding, a retired GP from Cromer.

During his very brief medical practice, Ding saved many lives within the UK and in East Africa.

Before his tragic death, Ding had been preparing to return back to the UK in 2016 to recommence his full postgraduate specialist training to become a neurosurgeon.

Ding’s funeral in Juba, South Sudan on November 3 was attended by thousands of family, friends and colleagues. There will be an announcement of a Memorial Service to be held for Ding in the UK and in South Sudan in the New Year.

Ding has left behind several members of a very close extended family, and many close friends and colleagues.

Ding working in South Sudan

Ding working in South Sudan

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