The father of a young boy who had a brain tumor removed by Dr. Charlie Teo, has asked the authorities to allow the famous rebel surgeon to be allowed to help other families.
Jad and Ilana Chahine’s 10-year-old son Cooper underwent successful surgery in Spain last month to remove a brainstem tumor with ‘last chance’ surgeon Dr. Teo in the lead.
He removed 100 percent of Cooper Chahine’s tumor in an operation in Spain on Sept. 5.
The father of a young boy who had a brain tumor removed by Dr. Charlie Teo, has asked the authorities to allow the famous rebel surgeon to be allowed to help other families. In the picture, Dr. Teo with his model partner and former patient, Traci Griffiths
Jad and Ilana Chahine’s 10-year-old son Cooper underwent successful surgery in Spain last month to remove a brainstem tumor with ‘last chance’ surgeon Dr. Teo in the lead. Pictured, the Chahine family in Spain, with a smiling Cooper shirtless in the middle
Dr. Teo removed 100 percent of Cooper Chahine’s tumor in an operation in Spain on September 5
Sir. Chahine, whose son is rehabbing in preparation to hopefully start playing football, told Daily Mail Australia exactly why Dr. Teo should be allowed to operate here.
“I would ask any other surgeon, who would they want to operate on their child in this situation?” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“I bet they say Charlie Teo.”
Is he confident? Yes. But you’re talking about brain surgery on a 10 year old, I’m a construction worker. I want someone to be sure about this.’
He added that the way Dr. Teo talking to his son about – making him aware of the risks – was also a huge difference from other neurosurgeons.
‘He didn’t want him to be surprised if he woke up unable to swallow.’
Dr. Teo, who was placed under temporary restrictions a year ago in Australia after complaints about his work, has operated several times in Spain and South Africa under a temporary licence.
Chahine says he was told by neurosurgeons in Sydney that only 80 percent of the mass in Cooper’s brainstem could be removed and that their boy may need chemotherapy.
Jad Chahine said Mr Teo’s confidence was what he wanted to hear when dealing with something as serious as brain surgery.
One month after successful brain surgery, Cooper Chahine is back in rehab and training to play football again
After their son’s successful surgery, they say Dr. Teo’s superior skills are needed to save others.
While Chahine would like Dr. Teo allowed to operate back in Australia, he said “bad press” from Australia means his son’s operation may prevent him from doing more operations overseas.
‘Depriving families of the chance to choose Charlie themselves is unthinkable.
‘What would happen if Cooper’s twin sister Madison or another child needed surgery that only Charlie can do?
‘I would do everything to convince these doctors who are working against him to stop, think about the patients, let them make a choice.’
When Dr. Teo has had surgery overseas, it is understood that the Medical Council of NSW asked Dr. Teo’s overseas operations and was ready to alert the Spanish authorities to its concerns.
Sir. Chahine said medical costs were between $90,000 and $100,000, but they were “worth every cent.”
The famous but controversial surgeon operated on a young woman from Sydney and a young man from Melbourne in Madrid, Spain (pictured, Dr Teo, left, during brain surgery in Spain this year)
Cooper Chahine with his twin sister Madison after his successful surgery by Dr. Charlie Teo
The Chahine family searched for answers when Cooper began suffering from worsening migraines in 2017.
Sir. Chahine said the boy has suffered from migraines since he was two years old, but when he was unable to finish a football game in 2017, they ran a series of tests.
Initially, he was diagnosed with an allergy to milk and eggs, but another checkup they had done revealed a much more serious problem.
A brain scan revealed that Cooper had a brainstem glioma.
A sudden headache, vomiting and vision problems are common symptoms of a brainstem tumor in children.
While removal of a brainstem tumor is the best outcome, many are unavailable and the patient instead needs chemotherapy to try to shrink the mass.
Chahine was frustrated by advice to ‘watch and wait’ to see if the tumor would progress.
‘When my wife and I left, we actually didn’t really talk at first, but when we did, both with tears in our eyes, we agreed that no one else is allowed to touch our Cooper except this man.’
Sir. Chahine said that Dr. Teo explained the real risks to the whole family, but also asked why the family waited.
“He asked ‘are you waiting for him to have a limp or a speech deficit?'” And he explained that once a child has a deficit caused by a tumor, it is likely to be permanent.
Dr. Teo said he feels ‘frustrated’ and ‘helpless’ with patients still begging for his help despite the restrictions
Hospital Quiron de Torrevieja (pictured above), near Alicante in Spain, is one of the hospitals where Dr. Teo has had surgery
“He explained that if a patient is 100 percent before surgery, they have the best chance of being 100 percent after surgery.”
Sir. Chahine said that Dr. Teo didn’t claim to be perfect or never have problems – but he outlined why he was the most experienced surgeon in Australia to perform the type of brainstem surgery Cooper needed.
“His approach was to show us the numbers – all his real results, the amount of operations he’s done.
“We were convinced.”