Brain surgeons just saved Joel's life. Here's why innovation matters
"And my right eye gets really tired because I can't close it properly."
Joel Kimber is being treated at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, a not-for-profit integrated cancer treatment centre in Sydney's Camperdown. Source: SBS News / Sandra Fulloon
Joel is being treated by specialists at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, a not-for-profit integrated cancer treatment centre in Sydney's Camperdown.
Dr Shivalingham grew up in Sydney's north, and later studied medicine in Australia and the UK. Six years ago, she stepped into the director of neurosurgery role at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse. Source: SBS News / Sandra Fulloon
"It was a harrowing experience — still stirs up a lot of emotion for me."
Dr Brindha Shivalingham, pictured here at the age of 10, left Sri Lanka when she was still a child. Source: Supplied / Dr Brindha Shivalingham.
However, its opening on 15 November 2013 was tinged with sadness.
Dr Chris O'Brien. Source: Supplied / Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
O'Brien died in 2009 but his vision lives on. Each year the centre treats more than 60,000 cancer patients.
"We had to go through the skull at the base of the brain in order to get to the tumour. And in that location, there are many important nerves and also blood vessels that need to be looked after and preserved," she says.
Dr Brindha Shivalingham says innovative techniques were used to restore Joel Kimber's facial function post-surgery. Source: SBS News
"We are still losing too many people to brain cancer, and this is something that I really want to change in the next 10 years," she says.