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Having moved from Glasgow to study in Edinburgh, Russell then crossed the border to train in emergency medicine in the north west of England. As a registrar he was an enthusiastic instructor on life support courses. His calm and patient manner contrasted with the more aggressive and imposing teaching style of some of his contemporaries, so that he could always be relied on to nurture and encourage shy or reticent candidates. This was, in part, due to his insight into how others were feeling and coping, maybe something he recognised better in others than himself.
Russell had the worst hand writing any of us had ever seen, a fact he attributed to a childhood injury.
He became a consultant in 2000 and a year later traded in the rain and cold of Manchester for the sunshine of Adelaide. There he was able to develop an interest in retrieval medicine, which he shared with his wife, Alison.
As a student he had been a useful runner, with a particular liking for that toughest of track races: the 3000 m steeplechase. In Australia he rediscovered his enthusiasm for exercise and took up triathlons.
Last year he and his family embarked on a round the world trip, and they visited their family and friends in the United Kingdom. We never grasped its significance. He leaves his wife, Alison, and their two children.