Posted by Liz Courtney on Dec 15, 2017
When the call came out from ROMAC to ask District 9970 for help to support a young mother and her newborn baby heading to our shores for surgery, our answer was without hesitation a YES!...
In early October baby Rosalia was born to Veronica and her husband in Labasa, Fiji. She didn’t look like their other two children aged 4 and 2. Rosalia was born with a large growth on the side of her head and in behind her eye socket.

Rosalia was referred to the hospital in Suva where Doctors contacted ROMAC in New Zealand for help. Rosalia was brought to Christchurch for surgery at only 4 weeks old accompanied by her mother Veronica. DG Sarita was contacted for help and our ROMAC Chair, Murray Pearce and his wife Diane, knew what had to be done. Murray is a member of Cashmere Rotary and the call went out for warm clothes and help with transport and visiting around the District. Luckily Veronica also had some wonderful support from a cousin and her family who live in Christchurch and they immediately swung into action alongside Murray and Diane.

Rosalia was operated on by a team of surgeons who removed the growth and formed the beginnings of a new eye socket. Luckily Rosalia has one good eye and she will require further surgery to build up the eye socket as she grows and a glass eye will be inserted. The best news was that the growth was not a cancer which means that the outcome for Rosalia is very good. What a great outcome for this baby and family.

Murray said that the operation costs were all met by ROMAC and were in the region of $ 50,000. When all the surgeries are completed it will be approximately $ 80,000 in total. While Rosalia was in Christchurch she and Veronica stayed at Ronald McDonald House where Veronica became a firm favourite amongst the staff. It couldn’t have been easy being separated from her husband and two small children for over 6 weeks.
She was extremely grateful for the help and support given by Murray and Diane, who really understood the hospital system having both been Pharmacists. They helped Veronica understand the procedures and supported her through many Doctors consultation visits and made her and baby Rosalia feel very welcome in Christchurch. This is the true meaning of being a Rotarian and using your skills to help others.

Veronica and Rosalia left for home 6 weeks after the operation very grateful to Rotary for this opportunity to have life changing surgery. This is the second child District 9970 has been able to help in a practical way over the last two years. ROMAC needs all the money you can spare so if your Club wishes to support another child please contact DG Sarita.
(pictured above are Murray and Diane Pearce, Veronica and Rosalia, and District Governor Sarita)