After several years of inactivity due to COVID restrictions, ROMAC - Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children, is now back doing what it does best - facilitating much needed major surgery for children of the Oceania Region that they don't have available in their own country.
Baby Melenaite, from Tonga,  was born with a massive teratoma, larger than a football, on her lower back/posteria - it weighed almost as much as the baby herself.  Whilst benign, without urgent surgery her future looked very bleak indeed.  The ROMAC Team, all Rotary volunteers, worked with the Ministry of Health in Tonga to arrange for this urgently needed surgery to be undertaken at The Canberra Hospital. Passports, visas and travel were all arranged in record time, and the baby with her Mum Michelleanne, together with a nurse escort, Hulita, arriving at Mascot on 7 July.
They were met at Sydney's International Terminal by Botany Randwick member Richard, accompanied by Tasimani Telefoni from the Tongan High Commission.  Richard arranged overnight accommodation for the family and their medical escort before putting them on a flight to Canberra early the next morning.
Immediately on arrival in Canberra, baby Melenaite was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Canberra Hospital and underwent a series of scans and tests.  In an 8-hour operation by large team, that included two senior Paediatric Surgeons and a Neurologist, the 2.5kg tumour was successfully removed several days later.
Melenaite is now out of intensive care and can look forward to a bright future - thanks to ROMAC and Rotary. The Botany Randwick Rotary Club is pleased to have played a small, but important, part in the success to date of her treatment.