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Thomas faces another crucial surgery

Feb. 5, 2014By: Marlys Healy

Thomas was born on  August 2, 2013.  His mother disappeared just moments after


he was born in a small village north of Cebu City.  The midwife that delivered him brought him to a government facility called the Receiving  Home, where he stayed until we brought him home to the Shelter on October 8, 2013 . He had several episodes of difficulty breathing at the Receiving home so was admitted to the hospital twice before we took him in.  Shortly after we got him it was determined by an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor that he had a significant congenital nasal obstruction, which needed surgical intervention on December at a hospital in Manila.  Stents were placed inside his nostrils, which allows him to breathe through his nose. He also has a serious problem called craniosynostosis, which means that the sutures of his skull fused prematurely. Consequently, his brain is bulging through the anterior fontanelle, which has caused his head to become misshapen, and fluid has built up around his brain. 

Several doctors from Cebu, the US, Africa and Manila have met and discussed Thomas’ case, and they have determined that our neurosurgeon here in Cebu should do the surgery as soon as possible at the government hospital called Vicente Sotto Medical Center.  One of our nurses, Arlyn, a caregiver named Auntie Delia, Thomas and I went to see the neurosurgeon today.  Dr. Gigataris explained the surgery, which is scheduled for next week. Thomas will most likely lose a large amount of blood so the doctor would like to have four donors standing by.  Three of our "uncles" will be screened this week, and our volunteer speech pathologist from Hong Kong has offered to give before she leaves to go back home on Friday.  

Thomas will be admitted on February 10, and the extremely delicate and complicated surgery will start early on the 11th. He said that it will most likely take about six hours.  The doctor said that there will be an intensive care specialistIMG_1035 working with him, and the anesthesiologist, of course, in addition to a team of residents and nurses. The surgeon will remove the fused portions of the skull, and four areas of the skull will be re-shaped by making several small cuts in each portion of bone. The bones will be sutured together afterwards. His head has gotten very large, and his eyes are bulging so it has become an urgent matter to do this surgery as soon as possible. They are hoping that the procedure will reduce the build up of fluids so he will not need to have a shunt at this point.  Thomas will be in intensive care for one week, and will be in a private room for another week, at least. Thomas stared directly at the doctor the whole time he examined him, and smiled at him numerous times.  We assured the doctor that many friends are praying for him, and he expressed heart felt gratitude when he heard that. His wife, a neurologist, will do the pre-op physical on Friday.  

Please join us in prayer for precious Thomas as he faces this huge surgery. The surgery could cause severe brain damage but without it he will not live.  When Dr. Gigataris heard about Thomas’s struggle in his short life he said that clearly he has fought for his life, and that now he will help him fight even harder. 

Could you join our staff in praying fervently for Thomas, Dr. Gigataris and the surgery on the 11th? We will post the exact time when we know it, probably in a day or two. Thanks for the loving and praying hearts who can make a huge difference in his life.







Category: Shelter News
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