Little Joao breathing easy, now off home

Canberra Times (Australia)

January 31, 2010 Sunday

Little Joao breathing easy, now off home


LITTLE Joao De Almeida is going home to East Timor and can look
forward to a special first birthday on February 19.

Joao almost didn’t make it. He had a growing cyst which pressed
against his windpipe, choking the breath in his lungs.

Mum Floriana De Olivera took him to Dili for treatment but doctors
couldn’t diagnose what was wrong or operate on him.

But the Rotary Club stepped in, paying for Joao and Floriana to come
to the ACT for a life-saving operation at Canberra Hospital.

The Canberra Times told Joao’s story on Boxing Day, soon after the
successful operation to remove the cyst. Since then the curly- haired
little boy has recovered and had another smaller operation in Sydney
to remove a kidney stone.

Ms De Olivera and Joao celebrated with a barbecue at Black Mountain
Reserve yesterday with supporters from Rotary and the Canberra
Friends of Dili Club.

They will fly home today.

The pair has stayed with supporters, including East Timorese student
Aderito Soares and his partner, Christine Kearney.

With Mr Soares translating, Ms De Olivera said she had spent her
first fortnight in Canberra worrying and filled with uncertainty.

“On the day of operation I was just nervous and very, very sad. I
still didn’t know what was happening and I was so relieved and very,
very happy afterwards,” she said.

For more information on the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children
Program, go to


Support ETAN! Read what Noam Chomsky says about ETAN:

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor& Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email Skype: john.m.miller

Web site:

Send a blank e-mail message to to find out how to
learn more about East Timor on the Internet


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