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Peruvian teen hopes to find second chance in Seattle (Pit tumor size of orange!)

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SEATTLE -- Some of the best doctors in the world and some of the biggest hearts in the world reside in Seattle.


And the unique combination came together this week to give a Peruvian teen with a potentially fatal tumor a second chance at life.


Christian Choccota is just 18, but he has a tumor on his pituitary gland that's grown to be the size of an orange. If it's not removed, the tumor will kill him.


But thankfully a non-profit organization called Healing the Children came to his rescue. The volunteer group works to provide medical care for children around the world who do not have access to appropriate care.


The organization arranged for Choccota to leave his home in Peru and fly to Seattle for a life-saving surgery. He arrived at Sea-Tac Airport on Wednesday.


"The international contact told me this was his first flight ever," said Rebecca Snyders with Healing the Children. "So this is his first time out of the country, his first time flying. He's coming here to stay with people he's never met."


Having flown for the first time and for such a long distance, Choccota arrived hungry and tired. But he was also wide-eyed as he took in the scenes of a foreign country.


Choccota will be in the care of Dr. Marc Mayberg and his specialized team at Swedish Hospital. The team will use cutting-edge technology to remove the tumor. The procedure will not involve any incisions; the medical team will enter Choccota's brain through his nose and remove the tumor.


"It's unfortunate that we don't have the ability to care for everyone in the world with this technology. The technology that's being used in this case is worth millions and millions of dollars," said Mayberg.


Mayberg plans to perform the procedure on Friday morning.


Until then, Choccota will stay with a host family in Everett.


Watch the video!! Hear/see Dr. Mayberg!

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Wow, I had always heard if it was larger than a 1-2 cm they had to cut through the skull.....Dr Mayberg must be seriously good!!


How great to be able to help someone in such dire need. I hope they keep his recovery updated for all of us!!

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I don't mean to start any wars or anything :birthday:. by talking up my Doc..... but he is good. I have heard that he has cured a mid line tumor. They are almost impossible to cure and most surgeons just get out and recommend a BLA.


He is good,




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Thanks Robin! That was a great piece!



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It seems he's already had the surgery and here is a follow-up article! And his real name is Cristian Choccata. You MUST go and look at the picture and the video which shows actual surgery footage!! (Karen, he sounds amazing.)



Video: http://www.komotv.com/news/local/15124681....deo=YHI&t=a


SEATTLE - A teenager from Peru needs a life saving surgery that he can't get in his native country.


He can get it here in Seattle, so a non-profit group called Healing the Children brought him here.


Cristian Choccata arrived in Seattle on Wednesday, after more than a dozen hours on planes from Lima.


He's 18, yet small for his age because a tumor the size of a small orange is growing on his pituitary gland, stunting his growth and robbing him of his vision.


Less than 48 hours after landing however, he's in surgery.


The tumor in Cristian's brain would kill him, if not removed. His surgery took place in a state-of-the-art operating room, complete with computers, cameras, large TV monitors, microscopes and a team of professionals to bring it all together.


It even has a portable MRI scanner - one of only about three dozen in the country.


Dr. Marc Mayberg is the neurosurgeon who removed Cristian?s tumor, entirely through his nose.


"Sometimes (the tumor) is a little more difficult to remove if it's fibrous and tough. Today, it was soft and it came out quite easily," Dr. Mayberg said.


Mayberg uses the portable MRI scanner to see deep into the patient's brain during surgery.


"It was very helpful to have the scan during the operation because I was able to see where the remaining tumor was and to get out a little more than I would have otherwise," he said.


The PoleStar MRI includes an entire navigation system. A large microscope and probes use a GPS-like guidance system that shows Dr. Mayberg everything he's doing.


"The scan showed that all of the pressure is removed from his optic nerves, which really was the main objective here," Mayberg said.


That pressure on Cristian's optic nerves had drastically reduced his peripheral vision.


Before the surgery, Dr. Mayberg said Cristian could only see a narrow field right in front of him, but just a matter of hours after the surgery, Cristian can already see much more than he did before surgery.


Cristian's treatment continues with precision radiology, later this month, using the CyberKnife.

Cristian will spend at least 24 hours in the hospital and then be discharged.


He?s staying with a host family in Everett, until doctors clear him to go back home to his family in Peru. His parents, four sisters and a brother, are all waiting for his safe return.


This is the first time Cristian?s ever been away from his family.

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I was watching this video last night and my Mom says, "is everything alright, you've got a funny look on your face". I said, "ya, I'm just watching a guy have brain surgery that's all"........only in a cushie house would you be having this conversation!!!

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Absolutely awesome!! Wow...!!


Thanks Robin for posting this...

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