Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Zealand surgeons remove 3.3kg tumour from East Timorese baby

AN East Timorese baby has had a tumour the third of his body weight removed in a life-saving operation in New Zealand.
The 3.3kg tumour was removed by volunteer surgeons at Wellington Hospital in the capital at the weekend, the Dominion-Post newspaper reported.
The tumour would have eventually killed the 14-month-old boy had the surgical team not stepped in, said Bill Day, chairman of the Wellington Hospital and Health Foundation and local Rotary Club president - which organised the trip to New Zealand.
Little Alex Gonzaga and his mother Elisa Da Conceicao flew to Wellington from Dili about two weeks ago for the operation involving a 10-strong surgical team.
Everything went according to plan and the benign tumour was removed from around his crucial organs in record time - about two hours - on Sunday.
"It has just been stunning, everyone pitching in to save his life," Mr Day said. Alex, who weighed about 11kg before the surgery, is expected to make a full recovery and will be ready to go home in a few days.
Alex's tumour was spotted by a doctor in East Timor. He was examined further on a visiting medical ship and referred to the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children program (Romac).
Brendon Bowkett, who led the surgical team that operated on Alex, is a pediatric surgeon and a frequent visitor to East Timor to operate on children there.
"It is not just one child that benefits. It benefits the kids we treat here because it adds to our experience and when the child goes home the villagers see positive results. It is very rewarding," he said. (news.com.au)



Pic: Alex Gonzaga, 14 months, from East Timor, had a 3.3kg tumour removed by volunteer surgeons in Wellington / Supplied

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