A leading Adelaide surgeon continues to fight for his life after he was allegedly assaulted in his own home, potentially by the same gang of thieves also caught on a neighbour’s CCTV footage attempting to break into their home.
The incident occurred at about 4.20am on Monday morning with 61-year-old Dr Michael Yung, a paediatrician, still in a critical condition at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Doctors performed emergency surgery right away with Dr Yung placed in an induced coma afterwards.
The attack adds to an emotional few years for the family and their friends after Dr Yung’s wife, Kathryn Browne-Yung, passed away unexpectedly in her sleep in March 2020. A PhD holder in her own right, Dr Browne-Yung was a health expert and her husband created a scholarship in her name to support Indigenous medical students.
It’s believed that Dr Yung was allegedly attacked by intruders in his home on James Street in Gilberton, in Adelaide’s affluent inner-eastern suburbs.
Neighbours reported waking up to the sound of a potential break-in, quickly altering police. Dr Yung, the head of the Women and Children’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, was found with life-threatening injuries while another 30-year-old resident, reportedly his son, was lucky not to be harmed.
The incident has been declared a major crime by the police with reports they are conducting a large-scale manhunt for a group of ‘multiple assailants’.
“Police searched the area but were unable to locate any suspects,” South Australia Police said in a statement.
“Major Crime Detectives, Eastern District Detectives and patrol officers have been actively assisting with the investigation throughout the day. Specialist Forensic officers have been examining the scene and will continue into the night.”
The assailants may be the same ones caught on CCTV footage from homes in neighbouring suburbs as a series of break-ins around the same time have been brought to police attention. Footage shows a group of five young people in nearby Medindie trying to break into the home before walking away from the unsuccessful attempt.
Three residents also told The Advertiser they have been victims of break-ins with one installing CCTV cameras after her fence was scaled and a bike was stolen.
South Australian Health Minister Chris Picton was quick to provide a statement in support of Dr Yung, highlighting the experienced paediatrician’s impact on the Adelaide community.
“Over the past few years I’ve been witness to Michael’s incredible intellect and compassion – completely and totally dedicated to the care of the children of our state,” Minister Picton said.
“Michael has been there for so many South Australian children and families at their darkest times – now it is time for all of us to be there for him and his family. I also thank the first responders and treating medical team who are doing their best to care for Michael.”
Police are also urging anyone with dashcam footage recorded near or at James Street and Nottage Terrace in Gilberton between 3.30am and 5am on Monday December 11 to contact them. You can report information online at crimestoppers.com.au or call 1800 333 000.