Oliver, last week a Mexico hospital, in a photo published by his mother on social media networks

First operation on Oliver, the Malaga boy with a brain tumour, is successfully completed

After more than two hours of surgery this morning, a bypass valve has been implanted to prevent the accumulation of fluid within the cavities of the brain. This is a fundamental step before doctors try to remove the tumour next week


This Friday, 28 October, started very early for the family of two-year-old Oliver, the Malaga-born child who needs urgent surgery for a brainstem tumour. At around 8am the young boy went down for surgery at the Sant Joan de Déu hospital in Barcelona for the first of two operations that the child needs.

“Yesterday was a tough day of visits and tests and the most important thing was to be with Oliver,” said his father Alejandro Romero. But this morning Alejandro contacted SUR to report on the boy's first surgical procedure.

He told this newspaper, “Everything has gone well, now he is recovering, his mother is with him. In a couple of hours, when the effects of anaesthesia wear off, he will be able to go up to his room”. The hospital also reported that the operation had been completed with a "satisfactory" result.

Childhood cancer

It was the first operation on Oliver in the prestigious hospital, a benchmark centre in the treatment of childhood cancer. The objective of this first procedure was to treat hydrocephalus - an accumulation of fluid within the cavities of the brain - which is key to being able to try to remove the aggressive brain tumour next week.

“A peritoneal ventricular shunt valve has been implanted to treat hydrocephalus and, in this way, to be able to control intracranial hypertension”, the hospital reported. Oliver has already undergone a drainage operation on the 19th of this month in Mexico, where the family moved to from Spain during the coronavirus pandemic, to remove sonet of the liquid that was putting pressure on his brain and from which he "could die in a matter of hours."

“We are in good spirits,” said Alejandro adding, “After this operation we are a little calmer, moving forward and we hope that everything goes well. We are receiving many messages of support, from people telling us that everything will be fine.”

Operation to remove 'very aggressive brainstem tumour'

The second operation, the most important, will be at the end of next week, when doctors will try to remove the brain tumor. “This operation will consist of the removal (partial or total) of the very aggressive brainstem tumour,” according to the hospital. Once the tumour has been removed, the hospital will decide on the oncological treatment for the young child. The hospital also reported that Oliver is being treated with corticosteroids, rehydration and nutrition to reduce the "extreme fragility" that he presented at the time of admission. Doctors want to give the boy time to recover and have strength for the tumour removal operation at the end of next week.

Oliver's parents, Alejando and Lena, are accompanied in Barcelona by their family from Malaga, who have travelled north. Oliver's grandfather and uncle are there, as well as Alejandro's uncles. The family emphasises that the doctors and health personnel at the hospital are being very kind and are treating the child "with care."

Anonymous businessman

Oliver's parents have reiterated that they do not need more financial donations, after they fulfilled the objective of transferring Olive in an air ambulance from Mexico to Spain, thanks to the donation from an anonymous businessman who paid the almost 200,000 euros cost of the flight. "The businessman asks me every day and we know that he is there for whatever we need, he is being super generous," Alejandro said.