Singapore doc, girl continue special ties

() - July 12, 2007 - 12:00am

They first met in early 2006, when the girl was barely nine months old — and fighting for her life. The doctor is already world-famous for his pioneering accomplishments in the treatment of liver diseases, and they have been regularly seeing each other ever since.

Gaia Pasamba, now two years old, will again meet Dr. Tan Kai Chah, more popularly known as Dr. KC Tan, when the Singapore-based liver specialist visits Manila next month to address the inaugural convention of the Hepatology Society of the Philippines.

Lilibeth Pasamba, Gaia’s mother, said Tan’s visit to Manila is a welcome relief to her family since it means they won’t have to go to Singapore for her daughter’s regular checkups. The checkups are critical to monitor Gaia’s progress from a life-saving liver transplant operation performed by Tan in April last year.

Gaia was barely 10 months old when she underwent surgery for biliary atresia, a condition that has no other remedy save for a liver transplant, or the patient faces certain death. The operation was performed at the Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, where Tan is the consultant surgeon.

Tan is no stranger to the Philippines or to Filipino patients like Gaia. He has been a regular resource speaker in many of the major medical conventions in the country, and his local patients inevitably go where he is scheduled to speak for updating and consultations.

The last time Tan was in the country was in Cebu City last November. Gaia and her mother also went there to have the girl’s progress checked, and it was a happy reunion for the now bubbly girl and her favorite doctor.

This Aug. 3, Tan will be the guest speaker in the inaugural convention of the Hepatology Society of the Philippines at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City. He will discuss the topic “Extending the Milan Criteria in Surgery of HCC.”

Tan’s Manila visit is made possible by ParkwayHealth, which owns Gleneagles, Mount Elizabeth Hospital and East Shore Hospital, the leading tertiary hospitals in Singapore.

More information about Tan and the Parkway hospitals are available at the Parkway Healthcare Medical Referral Center in Makati, the local representative office of ParkwayHealth with Kelly Low as country manager. It can be reached at 751-8225/27.

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