Rino makes speedy recovery

PHUKET: Rino Mangon Vogt, a 10-year-old boy who has undergone life-saving surgery, is recovering well, the Phuket Gazette confirmed today.

Rino, who suffered from the rare congenital heart condition Ebstein’s anomaly, underwent corrective surgery on November 21.

However, when the external pacemaker was switched off days later, young Rino fell asleep, indicating that his heart could not cope unassisted.

Quick action by benefactors provided the funds needed to cover the unforeseen cost of a second operation to install an internal pacemaker.

That operation went well and Rino has gained eight kilograms and just spent the new year holidays in Khon Kaen with his mum, his father Ritchie Newton said.

“He is doing very well and eating well. It’s a great recovery; much better than expected,” said Ritchie.

“Rino has made a 90-per-cent recovery already,” he beamed.

“Since June 30 it has been a roller-coaster ride. At one stage we were told that Rino had three to four months to live. His heart and liver we so enlarged he could not eat. He lost 17kg,” Ritchie explained.

“But he was the bravest boy I have seen in my life. I’m not saying this because he is my boy – he walked into the operation room without any fear,” he said.

However, the road travelled since June 30 has brought many disappointments, Ritchie said.

“I’ve lost quite a lot of friends along the way. If you are truly in need, you soon learn who your real friends are – and who are not,” he noted.

“But there a lot of great people around,” the appreciative father added. “Thomas Gottschalk, a wedding planner in Phuket, immediately donated 75,000 baht for the second operation.”

Mr Gottschalk could easily share Ritchie’s anguish. “He lost his 17-year-old son a year ago in an accident,” Ritchie explained.

“Without help from good people like this, it would not have been possible.”

Ritchie also expressed his deep gratitude especially to Dr Poomiporn Katanyuwong and the medical staff at Bangkok Heart Hospital and to General Manager Richard Chapman and his staff at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok.

“Thank you very much to all of you who helped save Rino’s life,” he said.

Phuket News
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