In December 2016, 21 year old Kiko was brought to Melbourne by Children First Foundation because of a pituitary gland adenoma. His first surgery successfully removed the benign tumour, but not before it had surged excess growth hormones into Kiko’s tall frame and caused his lower jaw to grow rapidly ahead of his upper jaw. He joked that he needed new shoes very regularly during that time.
With Epworth Richmond offering to finance the hospital costs and maxillo-facial surgeon Professor Andrew Heggie and his team performing the procedure pro bono, Kiko had a mid-facial advancement in February to bring out his cheekbones and to lower part of his eye sockets to balance his upper face.
“Now that his hormone levels are more normal than expected, this is the first of perhaps two or three surgeries that will be staged over the next 12 months,” Prof Heggie said.
“In between, Kiko will recover at the Children First Retreat in Kilmore and return to Indonesia to be with family and friends to practise his basketball skills.
“For this procedure, I am grateful in particular to anaesthetist Dr Rob Greenberg, visiting UK Fellow Dr Ravinda Pabla and senior theatre nurse Ms Lou Norris. For the surgical items including titanium screws, I also thank our industry friends at Stryker Australia, the medical technology company who are offering them free of charge,” Prof Heggie said.
“None of this can happen without the support we receive from Richmond Executive Director Nicole Waldron”, Prof Heggie added.
“Over the last decade, thanks to Epworth and St Vincent’s, there are patients from all over the world who have recovered from complicated facial, cardiac and orthopaedic procedures unable to be performed in their own countries,” Prof Heggie added.
Other prominent surgeons at Epworth Richmond including Mr Patrick Chan, Professor Richard de Steiger, A/Professor Leo Donnan and Professor Andrew Cochrane and their anaesthetists and surgical teams have been quick to offer their expertise to change the lives of young people through Children First and Rotary Oceania.
In the coming years, Epworth Medical Foundation aims to provide more assistance to individuals and communities in developing countries. Whether it be donating products in times of crisis; offering medical training assistance in Mongolia and Vietnam; or performing complex pro bono surgery or stereotactic radiation, Epworth is reaching is reaching beyond Australia’s own shores.