Aldo’s lifetime of commitment
AN UNLIKELY Casino resident, Dr Aldo Castagna, has stamped out a reputation for commitment and endurance that stretches back almost 40 years.
For his efforts, and with the help of staff who simply adore working with him, Dr Castagna was recently presented with a 2015 New South Wales Rural Medical Service award.
In this day and age of specialised medicine, the old-fashioned country GP is a rarity, and Dr Castagna said the profession would never again be like it was when he entered this ambitious trade.
For Dr Castagna, the drive to work long and hard for hours, days, weeks and years on end is ingrained in his nature - and his unusual upbringing.
He came to Casino aged 27, fresh-faced and eager from medical school in Sydney, following in the footsteps of a university mate, Dr Adrian Boyd.
Come February it will be 40 years since he arrived, and his enthusiasm has not diminished.
He still racks up 12-hour days at his surgery on the Summerland Way and his loyal head nurse Lorraine Nowlan regards him as simply the best when it comes to patient diagnosis.
Back in his youth, the keen doctor remained on-call 24/7, delivering babies (1200 all up at Casino Hospital), and did the majority of his own surgery, including laparoscopic tubal ligations, lap assisted appendectomies, skin grafts and flaps, carpal tunnels and more.
Dr Castagna and his team even ran their own renal unit at the Casino Hospital, treating one particular patient, doing peritoneal dialysis on him three days a week for 18 months without infection.
His passion for his work cost him two marriages, but he said that he wouldn't have changed a thing.
For Casino that is just as well.