Lives of the fellows

Vun Roei Lim

b.19 March 1967 d.14 July 2018
MB BCh BAO Belf(1991) MRCPI(1997) MSc Nottingham(2001) FRCP(2008)

Vun Roei Lim was a consultant rheumatologist at Wrexham Maelor Hospital from 2004 until her sudden death following a rock climbing accident in 2018. Born in the Malaysian state of Sabah to Chinese Malaysian parents, Lim Jok Teck and Ngui Thou Chin, Vun attended secondary school in Singapore and completed her A levels in 1985 at St Andrew's College. Excelling in sciences and English, she successfully applied to study medicine at Queen's University, Belfast, where she graduated in 1991. During her undergraduate years, she took elective posts in the Republic of Ireland as well as in New Zealand. Vun completed her internship year at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and spent another year there as a senior house officer. She then remained in Northern Ireland, working across the region in Belfast, Dungannon and Enniskillen, until she obtained her MRCP in 1997.

During a spell at Belfast City Hospital, Vun developed a strong interest in rheumatology. She subsequently applied for specialist training with the Leicester Deanery and was a registrar in rheumatology at the Leicester Royal Infirmary for the next six years. During this time she completed a masters’ degree in sports and exercise medicine at Nottingham University, conducting original research on windsurfing injuries. Then, following completion of her specialist training, she joined Wrexham Maelor Hospital as a consultant rheumatologist.

Whilst working in Wrexham, Vun became particularly interested in the use of ultrasound in rheumatology, and she played a leading role in developing the rheumatology department's ultrasound capability. Part of a network of specialist clinicians across north Wales and an enthusiastic founder member of the All Wales Ultrasound Special Interest Group, she contributed to the establishment of international recognition in the performance and training in rheumatology ultrasound for the region.

Vun went on to become a recognised educational supervisor for the specialist training of registrars on the Cardiff rotation. She was an active fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and supported the College in examining for MRCP PACES on numerous occasions. A member of the British Society for Rheumatology and Cymdeithas Rhewmatoleg Cymru, she was a guest presenter for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and supported the development of local patient groups, including the North Wales Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance and the local Joint MSK (musculoskeletal) advisory group between patients and the local health board. Throughout her career Vun published on topics including the training of rheumatologists to undertake MSK ultrasound, sports medicine and methotrexate safety.

Vun had numerous interests outside of medicine, many of which contributed to her professional life. Fluent in English, Malay and several dialects of Chinese since her youth, in her spare time she completed a graduate diploma in Spanish at the University of Chester and sought out opportunities to connect with medical professionals in South America and Cuba. During a sabbatical period in 2011, she provided voluntary advice and assistance in various district hospitals in Ecuador and contributed to the production of a series of health-related television documentaries broadcast on Ecuador Public Television.

A serious and committed athlete in her youth, Vun pursued a number of different sports to a high level and developed a strong interest in sports and exercise medicine. While windsurfing and snowboarding had been her first enthusiasms, on moving closer to Wales these became supplanted by a strong passion for rock climbing as Vun became a very active and respected member of the north Wales rock climbing community, often to be found scaling some of the most challenging rock faces of Snowdonia. It was during one such climbing holiday in the summer of 2018 that she suffered a severe head injury following a fall and died in hospital two weeks later. She was survived by her husband Ian (Dunning), whom she married in 2001, her parents and a sister.

Ian Dunning

[North Wales Live 8 August 2018 – accessed 26 February 2019]

(Volume XII, page web)

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