Life-changing surgery for Tongan teenager thanks to the generosity of Cabrini

A teenager from Tonga has had life-changing surgery thanks to surgeon Mr William Blake and his team at Cabrini Malvern.

Silia Tupou’ila had a large tumour growing on her jaw, which had affected her health, self-confidence and left her feeling excluded from her community in Tonga.

silia and will blake tn2

Mr Blake and the Cabrini perioperative team volunteered their time to remove the tumour from the 19-year-old’s jaw during a risky, eight-hour surgical operation.

He said that without surgery Ms Tupou’ila’s jaw would break, causing significant damage to her face and leaving her in excruciating pain.

“We removed that section of the jaw that’s got a large benign tumour in it and replaced that part of the jaw with a bone from her leg,” said Mr Blake.

Ms Tupou’ila was brought to Australia with the help of the Children First Foundation, where she was cared for before and after her surgery at Cabrini.

Children First Foundation Assistant Manager Melanie Likos said it had been a dramatic but life-changing experience for the teenager.

“This is her first time out of Tonga, coming to Australia, it’s her first time being in a city and in a big hospital,” Ms Likos said.

Ms Tupou’ila has recovered well and is looking forward to being re-united with friends and family in Tonga.

“I’m feeling good, I’m feeling better,” Ms Tupou’ila said.

“I’m in a new life now.”

Ms Tupou’ila said the surgery had given her the confidence to apply for jobs when she returned to her home country.

“When I’m getting back to Tonga, I’m going back to singing and looking forward to my jobs.”

View the 7 News story here: