Media Release: A little boy’s face and life are transformed

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Australian surgeons have achieved an incredible facial transformation to change the life of a little boy from the Philippines, with the support of Children First Foundation and Interplast Australia & New Zealand.

Jhonny Lameon, 7, had a severe fronto-nasal encephalocele – a neural tube defect that results in membranous sacs expanding through openings in the skull.

A team from Interplast assessed Jhonny while on a program visit to the Philippines. When it was decided that the complex surgery he required needed to be performed in Australia surgeon James Leong and Monash Children’s Hospital organised the pro bono surgery, involving generous volunteer surgical, theatre, nursing and hospital staff.

Jhonny’s case was then referred to Children First Foundation to get him to Australia. Children First organised his visa, passport and travel, funded flights for Jhonny and his mother Chochi, and provided accommodation and care pre- and post-surgery at their Rehabilitation Farm in Kilmore.

A team of four surgeons performed an eight-hour operation to remove the disfiguring mass and reconstruct Jhonny’s entire face, and since then he has been under the care of Monash Children’s Hospital and Children First.

Jhonny is a bundle of energy and these amazing results have given him a vastly improved quality of life, ensuring he can play, learn and live like other little boys back home.

Before Jhonny returns to his new life in the Philippines, Monash Children’s Hospital and Children First Foundation will host a media event to discuss Jhonny’s amazing transformation.

Media Event Details:

  • 11am Wednesday 2 July 2014
  • Monash Children’s Hospital at Dandenong Hospital, David Street, Dandenong
  • Monash Children’s Hospital – Shane Butler 0410 578 349
  • Children First Foundation – Julie Webber 0407 327 418



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