A new life begins for young man from Papua New Guinea

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Twenty seven year old Kingsford Guri’s life is looking so much brighter thanks to the skills and generosity of surgeons and staff at Cabrini and Children First Foundation.

Kingsford was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition which caused his brother’s death in childhood. In Kingsford’s case, the condition was recognised early and at two months of age, he had a colostomy bag fitted at a hospital in the PNG highlands. Tragically Kingsford’s mother was murdered soon after and he was raised by relatives and friends.

Due to the lack of sanitation in his village it was impossible for him to properly maintain the colostomy and he became an outcast.  He was not able to attend school for fear of being ridiculed. 

Australian Rotarians Catherine and Charlie Rattray heard of Kingsford’s plight when they visited PNG to do volunteer work in 2010. The couple began seeking help for him and in 2013 approached Children First which in turn asked Cabrini to assist.

At Cabrini, colorectal surgeon Associate Professor Paul McMurrick and paediatric surgeon Mr Chris Kimber assessed Kingsford to plan the best approach to his surgery. They gained the trust of the shy young man, who is grateful for all that has been done for him.

In November 2013, Kingsford underwent a major surgical procedure at Cabrini Malvern, in order to remove the diseased parts of his bowel and had further surgery in January 2014 to remove the colostomy. Each member of the 17 strong medical and nursing staff provided their services pro-bono.

‘He is now doing very well,’ says Mr McMurrick. ‘The difficulties he has endured all his life are now behind him and he can get on with his life. ‘

Kingsford has been in the care of staff at Children First’s Rehabilitation Farm where he’s entertained everyone with his singing and guitar playing. Farm Manager, Pat Weldon said Kingsford has been a delight to care for during his time in Australia.  ‘We’ll certainly miss him,’ said Pat. ‘But we’re so pleased to know he’s returning home to lead a normal life.’

He’ll return home in time to spend Easter with his family and friends.


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