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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Surgeons Remove 8lb Tumour From East Timorese Baby

In a life-saving operation, volunteer surgeons at New Zealand's Wellington Hospital East have removed a tumour from a Timorese baby that weighed a third of his body weight.

The 8lb tumour was removed by in the capital at the weekend.

The large mass 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 24lbs 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, a country in Southeast Asia. He was examined further on a visiting medical ship and referred to the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children program (Romac).

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