Operation transforms Christine’s life

From a very sick baby to a healthy child – what a difference ROMAC makes!

ROMAC’s 400th patient Andrea

Andrea was the 400th patient to be treated by ROMAC in Australia or NZ

Heart surgery patient Germaine recovers with a little help

Vincent turns one

Vincent is a Solomon Islands patient who arrived in Australia as a two-month old requiring urgent surgery to correct a blockage between his oesophagus and his stomach. This meant he had to be fed via a catheter into the stomach.

Ten months later, after follow-up surgery, numerous hospital visits for day procedures, and constant monitoring by the doctors at the Centennial Hospital for Women and Children in Canberra, he is progressing. He is now able to take food orally and is putting on weight. Vincent celebrated his first birthday at a colourful party organised by Sandra Goldstraw and her District 9710 ROMAC team.

For an update, read the recent story on Vincent on the ABC News: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-26/solomon-islands-baby-receives-life-saving-surgery-in-canberra/12811130


Six-month-old Gabriella was treated for a serious heart condition at Auckland’s Starship Hospital in New Zealand. She recovered well from her surgery and is now a happy, healthy baby and a budding All Blacks supporter!

Viliame bounces in and out

Four-year-old Viliame arrived in New Zealand from Fiji, bouncing into the country and sprinting about the airport, unlike many of our heart patients who often arrive feeling quite poorly.

He needed surgery to treat a coronary arterial fistula – a connection between one or more of the coronary arteries and a cardiac chamber or great vessel. This is a rare defect and usually occurs in isolation. The majority of such fistulas are congenital in origin. They do not usually cause symptoms or complications in the first two decades of life, especially when small, and this explained this bundle of energy on arrival. After this age, the frequency of both symptoms and complications usually increases.

Viliame, supported and cared for by his mother Talia, underwent a relatively straightforward procedure at Auckland’s Starship Hospital, involving a catheter closure using a variety of closure devices. Catheter technique results are mostly excellent with few complications and Viliame can expect a good outcome.

Jasminah breathes again

Jasminah is a 16-month-old girl from Vanuatu who failed to thrive from birth and had frequent respiratory tract infections. She was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) during a clinic held by Dr John Stirling in Vanuatu in early 2019.

Jasminah and her mother Angelina arrived in Ronald McDonald House in Auckland, New Zealand in July. After completing pre-tests and assessments, she had remedial surgery undertaken by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr John Artrip. She was initially very apprehensive of strangers but with Josie Adriaansen of Browns Bay Rotary supporting her and her mother Angelina she quickly relaxed for routine post-operative assessments. She is no longer breathless and has returned home fit and well, just over six weeks after her arrival.

Verzi is healthy again

Verzi, a fifteen-year-old girl from the Solomon Islands, arrived in Sydney with her carer, Aunt Vedna. She had rheumatic fever in 2015 and now needed the mitral valve in her heart replaced.

Verzi had her pre-admission checks at the Westmead Children’s Hospital Heart Clinic, in preparation for her surgery. Her surgeon was Dr Ian Nicolson, a well-known Sydney cardiothoracic surgery specialist (pictured). She came through her operation well, spending very little time in intensive care before going back to Ronald Macdonald House to recuperate. Unfortunately, she contracted an infection and had to be re-admitted a few days later – but, after 3 days, she was well enough to be discharged again, attending as an out-patient for a further few days. ROMAC volunteer carers Liz, Liane and Marilyn were a great support to Verzi and Aunt Vedna (pictured) during this time. Verzi was declared well enough to travel back home with Aunt Vedna in time to spend a very happy Christmas with their family.

ROMAC Australia
Mission Statement
ROMAC provides surgical treatment for children in Australia and New Zealand from developing countries from
our Pacific Region in the form of Life Giving and/or dignity restoring surgery not accessible to them in
their home country.

100¢ in every $1
goes directly to giving life to a child

ROMAC is totally voluntary

There are no paid staff and the small administration expenses incurred are paid from another income stream.

Donate Now

Since 1988,
500+ children have been given life

ROMAC has assisted, through other means, over 1,000 children since inception

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