An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life

An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life

An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life

'At the core of my being, is a desire to make a difference and to inspire others. It was one of the reasons I had done medicine and had became a surgeon." – Dr Malcolm Linsell

After suffering serious burns to his hands that would later require surgery, Malcolm Linsell set his heart on becoming a plastic surgeon at an early age so that he too could make a difference and inspire others.

Raised in a Salvation Army family in a modest environment of love, compassion and trust, in 1993 Malcolm Linsell was introduced to Wesley Koni, a young boy from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Wesley was brought to Australia for lifesaving medical treatment after suffering horrific, disfiguring burns when he fell into a fire. More than two decades later Malcolm accompanied Wesley and a 60 Minutes team as Wesley returned to Papua New Guinea to be reunited with his family for the first time in 22 years.

Malcolm's life is an inspirational story of persistence and resilience. Overcoming his own financial difficulties, divorce and major health challenges, Malcolm shares the lessons he has learned along the way as a practitioner of the -surgery of self-esteem'.

Dr Malcolm Linsell is a Plastic Surgeon with 25 years experience in Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery. He has Bachelor degrees in Science, Medicine and Surgery and a Masters of Surgery all from Monash University, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons. He is in private practice specialising in the management of skin cancer as well as the 'Mummy Makeover" which he refers to as 'R&R for Mum's (Restoration and Rejuvenation)"

An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life
New Holland
Author: Dr Malcolm Linsell
RRP: $27.99


Interview with Dr. Malcolm Linsell

Question: What inspired you to write An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life?

Dr. Malcolm Linsell: I had always wanted to write; I just wasn't sure what to write about and if it would have any appeal. Following the screening of -Wesley's Homecoming' on 60 Minutes, New Holland Publishers approached me to write my memoirs of how I came to be a surgeon, how I had met Wesley and the impact that experience had on my life. I wasn't sure the timing was right. After all I had left medicine for 6 years, gone into business, lost all my money, my marriage broke down and I had a minor stroke. New Holland felt that if I was honest, my life circumstances and how I had approached them, might be of interest to others. Hopefully, this is the case.


Question: Was it difficult reliving any aspects of your life when writing An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life?

Dr. Malcolm Linsell: When I write, I find I am right back in the situation and often feeling the same feelings.

Undoubtedly, the worst part of my life was my separation after 23 years marriage and subsequent divorce. Marriage to me is a life-long commitment and I had therefore expected to be married forever. When my wife left, my children and I were devastated. It was so sudden and final. Whilst dealing with my own shock and grief, my first priority was to be there for my children, for them to know they were loved in spite of the circumstances. Our children were 21 and 19 at this time. I have learned that irrespective of a child's age, a separation of their parents, leaves a gaping hole in a child's heart that takes years to heal.

Relating the period when I went into business was also challenging. I made several mistakes because I didn't do my due diligence, didn't ask for independent advice and I trusted people who were not worthy of my trust. Consequently, I became involved with a commercial cult, lost all my money, my marriage broke down and I had a major health challenge.

Writing about these events was difficult yet strangely cathartic. I have learned from my mistakes and have no plans to repeat them.


Question: What do you hope readers take from An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life?

Dr. Malcolm Linsell: I hope readers will enjoy the book and if my mistakes prevent them from making similar ones, that will be gratifying. I truly see myself as an ordinary man. I am not the best at anything yet with persistence and resilience I have been able to overcome some major challenges to be in the best place of my life. I am back in plastic surgery doing what I love making a difference in people's lives, I am remarried to the most intelligent, beautiful woman in the world, I now have 4 children who are all outstanding individuals and I am as happy as I have ever been.

I have come to learn that failure is not such a bad thing. Failure is part of life and it is part of being human. How we respond to failure is the key. If our response is to blame our circumstances or other people we learn nothing and may repeat the same mistakes. If however, we accept responsibility for our part, we can learn from the experience and make better choices in the future.


Question: What did you learn about yourself when writing An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life?

Dr. Malcolm Linsell: I have been privileged to lead an extraordinary life. I had a rich heritage with my parents and grandparents being ministers in the Salvation Army. Making a difference in people's lives has always been important to me. Plastic surgery was an ideal career for me to do that, yet when I began to focus on the money, I lost my way. I made some poor decisions and had to deal with the consequences. I learned that in spite of the challenges, my core values of honesty, integrity and doing the right thing hadn't changed. I found that I can be beaten and broken but I will learn from the experience and come back a humbler, yet way more powerful person. You don't have to be the best at anything to do good things.

An Ordinary Man, An Extraordinary Life
New Holland
Author: Dr Malcolm Linsell
RRP: $27.99


Interview by Brooke Hunter




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