A surgeon who carried out hundreds of amputation operations before going on to have both his own legs amputated has been named one of the bravest people in Britain.

Dr Neil Hopper received the Against All Odds title at the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons 2020, in a virtual ceremony hosted by BBC1 TV Breakfast presenter Rachel Burden.

Neil, 44, is a vascular surgeon at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro and only six months after his operation due to sepsis he was back at work.

He said: “I am so honoured to have won this award.

“Before my own surgery I had an academic idea of what it was like to be an amputee but now I can talk to patients with a clear understanding of what they are about to go through. For a surgeon it is a unique perspective on the matter.

“I’ve got through it and got to the other side and my patients can see that.”

Global-hearing specialist Amplifon’s judges said: “Neil’s is an extraordinary story. He has gone far beyond the normal realms of human expectation and endurance.

“It was thought his career would be over when he lost his legs by the knee but six months later he was back on his prosthetic feet carrying out operations again.

“In addition, he has launched his own campaign for better NHS after-care for amputees following his own disappointing experience.”

Neil had been camping with his family in woodlands when he and his daughter became unwell. She recovered but Neil went on to suffer sepsis and subsequently the loss of his legs.

His experience as a patient has spurred him to lead the way in aftercare for amputees.

He is now spearheading a campaign for NHS amputee clinics to provide better emotional support.

The Amplifon awards are in their fifth year and celebrate truly remarkable people and pets. They were set up in honour of Amplifon’s founder, Second World War hero Major Charles Holland.

Major Holland was awarded both the MBE and the Military Crossed and received the Bronze Star from the United States government in 1948 for his bravery behind enemy lines during the Second World War.

After the war he dedicated his life to providing better hearing for people affected by the conflict and in 1950 launched Amplifon which has become a global company specialising in providing the best hearing solutions and devices.