THE surgeon who saved a woman's life with a makeshift operation during a flight from Hong Kong plans to give away a $380,000 award granted to honour his achievement. Professor Angus Wallace of Nottingham University Medical School, who was assisted by Hong Kong-born Dr Tom Wong, is handing over the cash for research at the school. He will receive the University of Texas Southwest Medical Centre international award for exemplary medical care from former British Prime Minister Lady Thatcher later this year. 'When I was told over the phone that I had won the award I accepted without realising that US$50,000 [HK$380,000] went with it,' he said. The award is for the makeshift operation he carried out on a flight from Hong Kong to Heathrow in May when Paula Dixon, 39, from Aberdeen, Scotland, passed out with chest pains. Diagnosing a collapsed lung, Professor Wallace used a coat-hanger, a bottle of mineral water, a urinary catheter and a pair of scissors sterilised in brandy to perform a successful operation. The patient recovered and was chatting to him by the time the plane landed. 'A lot of people seem to have got a great deal of pleasure out of what I did on the plane,' Professor Wallace said. 'I must confess that I myself had a very stressful flight but I was impressed by how much it pleased other people.' Ms Dixon had been involved in a motorcycle accident while on her way to Kai Tak airport and complained of pains as the aircraft was about to take off. The cabin crew called for a doctor and the two came forward putting her arm in a splint. But just 20 minutes later, with the plane already in the air and beginning a 14-hour flight the pain worsened and the scale of her injuries became apparent. The doctors used a knife and fork to hold open the incision made in her chest and sterilised the instruments used with brandy.