A $60,000 operation has given Peter Pomare, pictured with his wife, Angie, and daughters, Aliyah and Taiamai, the gift of life.
A $60,000 operation has given Peter Pomare, pictured with his wife, Angie, and daughters, Aliyah and Taiamai, the gift of life. Supplied

Local generosity saved Peter's life

AN EMOTIONAL Ben Pomare says his family’s prayers have been answered by a $60,000 operation in a private hospital to save the life of his son Peter.

And he says it’s all due to the incredible generosity of people in Rockhampton and Yeppoon who have so far given more than $20,000.

Peter, 21, was diagnosed with an “inoperable” brain tumour less than a week after the birth of his second daughter at the end of March.

At one point Peter’s distraught family was told he had only two hours to live.

But in six hours of delicate surgery at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital on Monday, the nation’s leading neurosurgeon, Dr Charles Teo, removed 95% of the tumour.

And yesterday, the young Yeppoon dad had recovered enough to be eating, talking and walking with the aid of a cradle.

“It’s incredible,” said Ben. “We were told he had no chance but you should see him now.

“The people of Rockhampton and Yeppoon have saved Peter’s life. Their generosity has been overwhelming and without their fundraising there is no way we could have paid for this surgery.

“Every brain surgeon we saw said it was impossible but as soon as Dr Teo saw the images he said ‘I’m going to remove that tumour’.

“After the operation he said to me that he had bought Peter some years. I was blown away.”

When news of Peter’s plight broke in April there was a frenetic fundraising effort, led by Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary where he worked as a volunteer.

Donations flooded in and, on May 28, a day at the wildlife park called Pete’s Party raised a staggering $21,000.

At the time people had assumed that the money would go to support Pete’s wife, Angie and his young children, Aliyah and Taiamai.

But the family never gave up hope that, despite all the medical opinion they had received, Peter would somehow make a recovery.

“We prayed for an answer and we have it, in the shape of Dr Teo,” said Ben who has spent every night at his son’s bedside since April 3.

“Peter was in a coma for a month, but we didn’t give up hope,” he said.

Mayor Brad Carter said yesterday it was an outcome everyone who had supported the fundraising effort could take pride in.

“Due to the generous support from Cooberrie Park, Woolworths Yeppoon and the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast community, Peter now has a long and rich life before him and is looking forward to spending time with his new daughter.

“The community needs to be congratulated for their true Aussie spirit as we all wish Peter a speedy recovery,” he said.

Francis Carnahan, from Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary where the fundraiser was held, said efforts to raise money would continue.

“We have a quad that was donated by Desmond John and Sheena Loeskow, of Bundaberg and Hervey Bay Seadoo, that is being raffled over the next month.”

“It’s worth $4800 and that’s going to be raffled at Woolworths at Yeppoon Central for $10 a ticket.”

The winner will be announced in late July.

Tickets can be purchased from the service desk at Woolworths at Yeppoon Central.

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