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Palauan girl regains eyesight with help from Taiwan

Health

Palauan girl regains eyesight with help from Taiwan

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) When Caylin Max returns to Palau Wednesday, she will be able to see her family and her beautiful island country in the Western Pacific — without magnifying eyeglasses.

Those glasses were what she needed when she came to Taiwan just over two months ago, a patient stricken with craniopharyngioma, a type of brain tumor that occurs mostly in children.

The 8-year-old was diagnosed with the disease three years ago had been close to legally blind, as a four-centimeter tumor was compressing her optic nerve.

With the help of Taiwan’s embassy in Palau, Max came to Taiwan on March 9 to receive treatment at Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital in Taipei. The hospital paid for the surgery and provided assistance during her two-month stay in Taiwan.

Max underwent surgery on March 11 and began radiotherapy some three weeks later, the hospital said, adding that the treatment proved effective.

The hospital’s surgeons were able to remove most of the tumor and thus alleviate the pressure on the child’s optic nerve, said Tsai Ming-dar, chief of the hospital’s neurosurgery department.

The surgical procedure was followed by radiotherapy to stop the growth of the remaining part of the tumor, Tsai said.

All of the tumor could not be removed because it was right next to the hypothalamus, a section of the brain that contains small nuclei with a variety of functions, Tsai said.

At a press conference to announce the girl’s discharge from hospital, Palau’s Ambassador to Taiwan Dilmei Louisa Olkeriil fought back tears as she thanked Taiwan and the hospital staff for their assistance.

Accompanied by her mother, Max will fly back to Palau with greatly recovered eyesight and will no longer need the thick-lensed eyeglass she had come to rely on.

[Original post available at http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201505120012.aspx]

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