Philanthropic Surgery at The Adelaide Memorial Hospital for ROMAC

ROMAC is a Rotary program which has been in operation for over 25 years and was formed “To provide medical treatment for children from developing countries in the form of lifesaving and/or dignity restoring surgery not accessible to them in their home country”.
Rotarians volunteer their time and expertise and are assisted by many eminent Australian Surgeons who generously donate their time free for the treatment of patients. To date, this humanitarian program has provided over 400 children from more than 20 developing countries with urgent, expert medical treatment that has given them new hope, restored their dignity and transformed their lives.
Early this year we were asked if we could assist with a young East Timorese girl, Nidia Dos Santos, who had presented with a “tumour” on the left side of her face.
ROMAC, through Dr John Pater, had already approached and received confirmation from Dr.Cindy Molloy (Neurosurgeon), Dr.Michael Switajewski (ENT Surgeon), Dr.Garry Davis (Ophthalmic Surgeon), Dr.Mark Moore (Cranio Facial Surgeon) and Dr.David McLeod (Anaesthetist) that they would all donate their time and expertise to assist Nidia. It was not anticipated that CCU would be required, however Dr.Mark Finnis was involved with our planning and Dr.S.Salonikis (Radiology SA) agreed to assist with any MRI & CT scans required.
Left to right: Alan McKinnon (ROMAC) Dr. M. Switajewski (ENT Surgeon), Angelica Alves Da Cruz (mother), Dr. M.Moore (Cranio-Facial Surgeon), Dr. D. McLeod (Anaesthetist), Nidia Dos Santos (Patient), Dr. G.Davis (Ophthalmic Surgeon), Dr. J.Pater (Ophthalmic Surgeon), Dr. C.Molloy (Neurosurgeon)
A surgery date was organised for Saturday, 25 July 2015. Nidia & her mother arrived safely & tired on Wednesday 15th July and were met and put in the care of Annabel & Grant Price (host Mother & Father) from the Kidman Park Rotary Club.
Nidia was booked for a CT & MRI scan and an eye examination with Garry Davis to assess Nidia’s vision. All doctors involved were given access to the results via Inteleviewer and a clinical meeting was organised for Wednesday 22 July in the hospital Boardroom. From the scans and examination of Nidia, the “tumour” was diagnosed as a probable Ossifying Fibroma. After discussion, the medical team decided to use the Weber Ferguson approach for best access. This approach is indicated for access to tumors involving the maxilla extending superiorly to the infraorbital nerve and into or involving the orbit. It provides a wide access to all areas of the maxilla and orbital floor.
The surgery on Saturday (Excision of Left Ethmoid Sinus Ossifying Fibroma via Weber Ferguson incision), went very smoothly.
His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le. AO, Governor of South Australia, who is the Patron of ROMAC, and his wife Mrs Lan Le, visited Nidia and her mother during her stay in hospital.
Nidia’s post-op stay at The Memorial was uneventful and she was discharged into the care of her Rotary “family” on Friday 31st July. She stayed in Adelaide for a further two weeks and was seen post-operatively by Michael Switajewski and Garry Davis. Mark Moore has a scheduled medical trip to East Timor in November, 2015, so our plan is for him to see Nidia then.
Nidia Dos Santos (Patient) and Mother Angelica Alves Da Cruz 
An Ossifying Fibroma is a benign tumour composed mainly of fibrous or fully developed connective tissue. It may appear as a fast growing mass between the ages of five to fifteen.
They are commonly associated with Proptosis (forward displacement of the eyeball). This may put pressure on the optic nerve which will eventually lead to blindness. They may also lead to potentially fatal nose bleeds. This is the reason we agreed to provide treatment as a matter of urgency at The Memorial Hospital with the understanding that it will not disadvantage an Australian citizen.
The Memorial Hospital would like to thank the following people
  • Sister Amelia who provided services as a Tetum Interpreter
  • All the Medical staff involved who gave of their time and expertise
  • All Hospital staff who were involved in the care of Nidia during her stay.
Kathy Jarman  Strategic Business Manager at ACHA
This is a great Rotary Program and I would call on all Rotary Clubs to support it financially to ensure it continues and thrives well into the future.
PDG Alun Hughes
Chairman ROMAC Central Region
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