New equipment means less invasive brain surgery for children at the WCH

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Your generosity makes the news!

New equipment means less invasive brain surgery for children at the WCH image


Some of you may have seen local Adelaide brain tumour warrior Ella Vaccaro and her neurosurgeon Dr Xenia Doorenbosch featured in the news recently!

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The ABC segment showcased a new piece of equipment now available at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital. This new updated endoscope offers hope to young patients who need brain surgery, with quicker recovery times and less scarring.

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Ella underwent surgery in 2020 to remove her tumour – a pilocytic astrocytoma — the day before her 16th birthday. She was the first patient to undergo surgery using the updated endoscope, which at the time had to be borrowed from Interstate. Dr Doorenbosch explained that this allowed for a smaller incision, more direct access to the relevant area making the procedure safer, less hair removal and a faster recovery.

Ella is now recovering well and recently finished high school, with plans to pursue paediatric nursing so she can give back and provide the same support that she received throughout her treatment and recovery. Go Ella!

Thank you to the Wilkins Family Foundation and all our generous donors for making this possible

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The purchase of this equipment was thanks in large part to a generous donation from the Wilkins Family Foundation. The connection between the Wilkins family and the NRF began many years ago, when Sandy and Michaels’ daughter Kristen was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Kristen was also diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma just one month before she turned 21 years old, and went on to have 4 brain surgeries. She has since recovered and celebrated her 30th birthday this year.

This experience prompted the family to want to give back and help others going through similar situations. Since that time, the Wilkins Family Foundation has donated funds to purchase a variety of different life-saving neurosurgical equipment throughout South Australian hospitals.

We are so grateful to the Wilkins Family and our entire NRF community, your kindness and generosity saves lives.

Read the full ABC article

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