Gianne knew her son Otto had a hole in his heart from the time he was born, but unfortunately something that was a reasonably common operation in an Australian hospital, was impossible in her
home of Nauru.
The doctors in Nauru would treat him as best they could, but because his heart wasn’t pumping as well as it should, Otto had trouble breathing and the heart problem limited his ability to grow and develop. This left him at just 7kgs at the age of 18 months and too weak to crawl.
Thanks to ROMAC ( Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children ) and the generosity of the doctors at the Monash Medical Centre, he now has proper circulation and is full of energy. ROMAC is a charitable fund associated with Rotary that has helped as many as 350 seriously ill children with life changing medical treatment, that would not be available in their home countries.
Otto and his mum Gianne were flown from Nauru to Australia by ROMAC for treatment. Doctors and hospital have provided free treatment and Rotarians, such as Russell Marnock (pictured) & family of Emerald Rotary, have hosted them before and after surgery.
In our interview, Gianne was very happy that within the first two weeks after the operation, Otto was showing a great deal more movement and energy, putting on almost a kilo in that period of time.
“The difference in his personality was amazing”. Ottos mum celebrated her 30th birthday while here with a party hosted by Emerald Rotarians. It was a great excuse for ROMAC volunteers and organisers to get together to catch up on Ottos progress.
ROMAC can only function if there are hosts willing to provide a home for the children and their family to recover in after
their operation. If you are interested in getting involved in this rewarding program, please visit: