Update On RACS Paediatric Teams Work In Samoa

Dr Kukksdy treating child

All of the children who have had surgery are recovering well. This is a great relief to everyone, the RACS paediatric team, the local clinicians, but especially the children’s parents and extended families. The children’s families have waited patiently for hours to hear the news that their much-loved children have come through their various procedures with a good health outcome.

One of Dr Kukkady’s patients this week was a 3-year-old boy with Hirschsprung’s Disease. Askar had first seen this child as a 20-month-old in 2023, during the RACS’ paediatric team’s visit to Samoa when he performed a biopsy to obtain confirmation of the condition. Hirschsprung’s was confirmed, so this young boy was placed on the patient list for surgery by the RACS surgical team planned for 2024. Today, Askar performed what’s called a pull-through, which will enable this very lucky boy to have normal bowel movements. This really is life-changing surgery for this child and also his family.

The mother of this little boy has two other children, both boys, one who is four and the other just 12 months old. She is just 22 years old herself and was very worried about her son. During his pre-surgical visit, the RACS team had blown up an examination glove to give to him as a makeshift balloon. It had the desired effect, and certainly helped ease his nerves. When returning to hospital today for his surgery, this young boy knew exactly where he was and immediately asked where the balloons were. Before entrusting him to the surgical team, his mother had told him to be strong and not to cry. She said she “trusted Askar” and had “thanked God for him and the RACS team”.

This is just one example of many little lives changed so far.

RACS Global Health would like to recognise the long-standing support of the Australian Government, RACS Foundation for Surgery and RACS Fellows for making this work both possible and successful.

While this work remains very cost effective due to the valuable pro-bono work of RACS clinical volunteers, costs have increased. We need your help so that we can continue to reach even more children across the Indo-Pacific region. If you can help, please click the link below and join our campaign to provide specialist paediatric surgery to children, when and where they need it. Please select Pledge-a-Procedure from the campaign options to support surgical visits such as these.


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