NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. – A 5-year-old Peruvian boy rushed to Long Island for surgery to remove a peach-sized brain tumor said he felt "very well" less than a week after the procedure.
Sebastian Jimenez Pina praised the doctors who treated him -- and the congressman who helped get him to them -- at a news conference Wednesday at Schneider Children's Hospital, where he underwent the operation Dec. 27.
"The hospital and the doctors were very good," the boy said in Spanish.
His physicians, Dr. Mark Mittler and Dr. Mark Atlas, said Sebastian would have died quickly without the surgery. It removed the tumor protruding from his right temple and two other, smaller ones on his head.
The doctors said the chances of a recurrence were uncertain.
"We got out everything that could be seen, but we know that there are (cancerous) cells remaining," Mittler said. The boy is to undergo follow-up treatments that could take months.
The effort began after Sebastian's uncle Luis Pina, an assistant nurse manager at the hospital, told doctors there about the boy's condition. Luis Pina said his nephew could have had surgery in his hometown of Lima, Peru, but the procedure would have left a large hole in his skull. At Schneider, in New Hyde Park on Long Island, doctors used titanium mesh to rebuild the boy's skull.
Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., helped Sebastian and his family secure a visa for the trip, persuading the U.S. Embassy in Lima to stay open late one Friday to process the document, the family and Israel have said.