terça-feira, 4 de novembro de 2008

Tumour boy takes first steps

Tuesday, 04 November 2008
East Timorese toddler Alex Gonzaga has taken his first steps in Wellington Hospital
after a life-saving operation to remove a massive tumour from his stomach.

The 14-month-old, holding his mother's hands and sporting tiny squeaky jandals, walked for the first time yesterday thanks to a 10-member medical team who volunteered their time and skills to remove the 3.3-kilogram benign tumour last month.
Alex and his mother, Elisa Da Conceicao, were flown to Wellington Hospital about three weeks ago for the operation. The Dominion Post revealed details of Alex's surgery, and since then his story has spread around the world. Shy, but smiling, Mrs De Conceicao said yesterday that her son's improvement since the operation was just wonderful. Before the operation Alex was restricted to moving and eating on all fours because of the size and weight of the tumour.
"He is completely different, more happy and mobile," she said through an interpreter.
She had been impressed by the doctors. Alex would not have received the same treatment in his homeland.
Alex's tumour was spotted by a doctor in East Timor and scanned on a visiting medical ship. Alex was transferred to the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (Romac) programme, which organises medical and surgical experts as well as immigration visas and interpreters.
Paediatric surgeon Brendon Bowkett, who led the surgical team, said it was great to see Alex smiling, playing with toys and getting around "like a normal kid". "His recovery has been dramatic and quick - faster than we expected," Mr Bowkett said.
Ward 19 team leader Trish Lee said it had been heart-warming watching Alex's progress. "It has been really great seeing him go from a quiet, almost immobile little boy to a happy, active, mischievous toddler taking his first steps," Mrs Lee said.
Alex and his mother were transferred to Ronald McDonald House yesterday while Rotary organises tickets for them to return home.
Once Alex is back in his village and reunited with his four siblings, the Alola Foundation will provide nutritional support for him during the remainder of his recuperation.

1 comentário:

Anónimo disse...

God Bless you.

Thanks NZ