Personal Information
Died:14th April 2008
Nationality:Sri Lankan
Education:S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya, University of Liverpool, Royal College of Edinborough
Occupation:Orthopaedic Surgeon
Parents:Henri and Claire Corea

DON JAMES RANDUNNA COREA was the eldest son of Henri and Claire Corea. Born on the of 30th August 1941, he was the second in a family of six children. His siblings were Ilona, Deva, Uttum, Ranmali and Aruni.

He was an eminent Orthopedic Surgeon who achieved his childhood dream. Inspired by stories of his great grandfather, Dr. John Attygalle the first Sinhalese to study Western Medicine and obtain the MRCS London and MD Aberdeen and act as the Principal Civil Medical Officer and first Ceylonese Colonial Surgeon. Who was also the author of `Materia Medica’ a book on the indigenous medical flora of Ceylon. Randunna’s interest in Orthopedics was fueled by the skill of a surgeon who repaired his hand, fractured in a skirmish during a Polo match. A skilled horseman he took part in the Annual Gentleman Riders Race at the Queen’s Cup. He was an all-round sportsman, Sergeant of the Cadet Platoon and Prefect at S. Thomas’ College Mt.Lavinia. Selected to the first Batch at the Peradeniya Medical College, he spent almost a year working as a clerk at the Central Bank till the Medical College began to function. Having served as an intern at the Kandy and Kalubowila Hospitals, he then left for the UK to further his studies. Randunna met Nalini during his internship in Kandy, they married in London. Nalini was a tower of strength to him in achieving his goals and aspirations.  Returning as a Professor of Orthopaedics of international stature and ranked among the World’s best, he attempted to rejoin Government Service but was told that he would have to re-enlist as a junior foregoing his experience and seniority.

He re-located to Saudi Arabia as Professor of Orthopedics at the King Fahd Teaching Hospital, in Dammam. Sri Lanka’s loss turned out to be Saudi Arabia’s gain. It was an appeal of a parent of a Scoliosis patient in a Sinhala Newspaper, which prompted him to write to the then President Ranasinghe Premadasa offering his services, whenever he visited Sri Lanka. President Premadasa ordered the setting up of the Scoliosis Unit at the Sri Jayawardene Hospital, which was set up by Randunna, who trained the nursing staff. Many years later applying for the post of Orthopedic Surgeon to the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital he was told that he would have to undergo a viva. As there was none more qualified than him to conduct the viva he returned to Saudi Arabia, where he trained many Orthopaedic Surgeons in that country. His legacy lives on in Saudi Arabia. 

Randunna loved his patients in Sri Lanka and when he first started his practice in Colombo at his home, they would bring him fruit and vegetables in lieu of a fee, till he was advised to link up with the Asiri and Nawaloka Hospitals. The son of a Policeman he never charged his fee, from serving officers or relatives of Policemen. He wanted to treat poor patients free of charge and envisaged a scheme through the Lions Club, which unfortunately because of the overwhelming demand, was not feasible. Many a poor patient was often pleasantly surprised to find the consultation fee returned to them. A Reserve - Senior Superintendent of Police, he was a Consultant Surgeon to the Police Hospital. In recent times despite his busy schedule Randunna took a keen interest in updating the Edirimana Corea Family Tree becoming an authority on the subject. He used his knowledge and expertise to refute defamatory articles published to ridicule and denigrate the Corea Family.

Randunna and Nalini have three children the twins Ranmali, Namali and their son Gemunu . A Nationalist at heart he wanted them to imbibe of the Culture of Sri Lanka and brought them back to Colombo for their education. A God fearing man, he would go on his knees each night to pray. Time was not his own and meeting up with him in Sri Lanka was almost impossible as he would be visiting friends, relations and patients who needed his attention, in between his work and visits to his estate at Bingiriya. He was a source of strength to all who knew him, with an infectious smile and sense of humour that could raise one from the depths of despair. He passed away in Saudi Arabia on the 15th of April 2008.

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