Cerebrovascular Diseases and Therapy Committee
I first met Prof Franco Servadei, when he was elected as the president elect of the WFNS. At that time I was vice president of Turkish Neurosurgical Society. I was very impressed by his positive and democratic attitude and saw an excellent visionary. Beside neurosurgery, he was also from the Mediterranean region and a sailor like me.
We had ahead of us the next World Congress, planned to be held in Istanbul. But at that time, my city, Istanbul, faced consecutive terrorist attacks. Soon I was elected as the President of our society. We worked very closely with Prof Servadei for the realization of the World Congress in Istanbul. He gave us his full support. I always strongly believed on financial audit of institutions, associations, foundations, and so on. A financial audit was commissioned to the international audit company Deloitte by the board of the Turkish Neurosurgical Society for our own society. We discussed and insisted on a financial audit of the World Congress as well. Prof Servadei strongly supported this idea – and Congress President Prof Uğur Türe, WFNS President Prof Yong-Kwan Tu ,and WFNS Secretary Prof Basant Mısra all agreed. As far as I know the 2017 World Congress of WFNS was the first World Congress to be audited financially.
After Prof Servadei became the President of WFNS he offered me and Prof Shalva Eliava from Moscow to be the Chairs of the Cerebrovascular Diseases and Therapy Committee. He pointed out the importance of education in this field, especially in low- and middle-income countries. He introduced the vision of Global Neurosurgery which guided us to spread neurosurgical education from discussions in highly specialized and high-level meetings, to meetings where the primary aim was to raise the standards in daily neurosurgical practice in the neurovascular field globally.
During the COVID pandemic we tried our best. We did courses and symposia in Africa, Europe, and Asia, and joint webinars with young neurosurgeon forums and regional societies. During this time Prof Servadei was just on the other side of the phone, whenever we needed him. The pandemic influenced all of us, but the first hit in Europe was in Italy and particularly in his hometown Milano. He managed the pandemic times as a thorough commander in the global neurosurgical community.
Personally, it was a great honour for me to be the co-worker of Prof Franco Servadei during his Presidency. I strongly believe that he achieved a great success in spreading the concept of Global Neurosurgery through the national and continental neurosurgical societies. I hope he and his family have healthy and happy times – and I hope he can find more time for sailing in the near future!