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Toddler Has Giant Tumour Removed

Doctors’ in New Zealand have operated on a 14 month old toddler from Australia and saved his life by removing a tumour weighting 3.3kg from his stomach.

Alex Gonzaga and his mother Elisa Da Conceicao were flown to the Capital city of New Zealand two weeks before the life-saving operation was performed by the volunteer surgical team of ten at the Wellington Hospital.

The tumour growing inside Alex was found by a local doctor in his home town of East Timor who sent him on for further examinations on board a visiting medical ship.

After being referred to the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children programme, club members went to work and organised all immigration visas and interpreters as well as volunteers to look after him and his mother while undergoing vital treatment.

Arrangements were then made for all parties involved to travel to New Zealand for the life-saving operation.

Medical Ail for Children Charity

Alex is the third beneficiary to benefit from The Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children.  Pediatric surgeon Brendon Bowkett who led the medical team said “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”.

Alex would have died for certain if the volunteer doctors had not removed the huge mass that was growing so fast while crushing vital organs and swelling to a point that it would have smothered the baby boy from the inside.

The operation that took place on the baby boy was done in a record time of two hours. There was not a lot of time left and his tummy was so swollen it gave him the appearance of being pregnant.

Mother and Son Both Well and Happy

Thankfully the 3.3kg tumour was benign and Alex is so well that his mother has been told she may be able to take him home at the end of this week.

Speaking through an interpreter Mrs Da Conceicao said ‘she was very happy with the operation and was looking forward to breastfeeding her son again and being reunited with her four other children’.

Full Recovery Expected

Tony Fryer the Rotary district governor described the operation as a ‘miracle story’ and has nothing but praise for the surgical team and ward staff at the hospital. 

“It is a wonderful story of generosity, philanthropy, overseas aid and teamwork.  He is the luckiest kid in the world right now” he said.

Doctors expect Alex to make a full recovery and lead a normal life with no recurrence of the tumour that almost killed him.