Two-year-old Oliver. / INSTAGRAM/Alejandro Romero

Two-year-old Oliver lands back in Spain and awaits test results for urgent brain tumour operation

The little boy from Malaga is undergoing pre-surgery tests at a leading Barcelona hospital after an anonymous businessman paid for an 200,000 euro air ambulance flight from Mexico


Two-and-a-half-year-old Oliver who was born in Malaga but is now living in Mexico arrived into Spain from Cancún on Wednesday 26 October after a mystery businessman paid for him to be flown in a special medically-equipped plane for an urgent brain tumour operation.

He is now in the hands of the doctors at the prestigious Sant Joan de Déu hospital in Barcelona, a world-leader in paediatric care.

According to hospital sources, the child was admitted at noon and specialists are evaluating the state of his illness to decide when to operate.

These diagnostic tests will be key for the specialists at the Catalan centre to know the exact state of the tumour and when Oliver can undergo an operation. In Cancún, the doctors gave the little boy "weeks to live" if they could not remove the tumour.

After a long process that began on Sunday and had several delays and setbacks, Oliver arrived with his German mother, Lena, following the 196,400-euro flight. Oliver was born in Malaga in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, but soon after his parents moved to Playa del Carmen in the Yucatán Peninsula to find work.

Alejandro Romero, Oliver's father, at the Barcelona hospital on Wednesday / EFE

Oliver's father, Alejandro Romero, a diving instructor from Malaga's El Torcal neighbourhood, had flown the day before on a commercial flight, and Oliver's uncle David, travelled from Malaga to Barcelona.

"We are happy that Oliver is finally here. He is very well, waiting for all the tests that need to be done and for the surgeons to talk to us this Thursday to start this operation as soon as possible," Alejandro said.

The operation to try to remove the tumour consists of opening the skull from the posterior (suboccipital) region and, using microsurgery techniques, to remove the growth. Due to its location it is blocking the passage of cerebrospinal fluid and is causing hydrocephalus - a dangerous build up of fluid.