Young boy with bandages on his neck, upper torso and arm smiles for a photo with his parents. A play button sits on top.

When Pasilio was four, his head, neck and torso were severely burned. He barely survived, and his injuries kept him isolated and excluded.

In Tonga, where he lives, there were no specialist surgeons available to help treat and repair the damage caused by the fire. His family spent three years hoping for the help that, for now, only an international team of surgeons could provide.

The severe damage to his neck muscles and shoulders threatened to leave his mobility permanently impaired. But even without the help of doctors, Pasilio made sure he could still turn his head, maintaining as much mobility as possible. When the surgeons first arrived in Tonga, they commented “Pasilio has done so much of this work himself.”

Though there are many surgeries ahead, the future looks bright for this brave boy and his family.

“Because of Interplast, one day, my son will be a doctor.” Latu, Pasilio’s mother.

Two doctors in scrubs happily talk together while looking over documents near a computer.

Pasilio’s surgeons, Dr David Morgan with Dr Alamea Fulivai at Vaiola Hospital in Tonga.

We received an update recently from Pasilio’s local surgical team, who worked closely with Interplast volunteer, Dr David Morgan, during every step of Pasilio’s treatment.

“Pasilio has done quite well post-operatively. The skin grafts have healed well. He has been seeing our physio team to help with mobilisation of his neck and arm, and the physios are happy with his progress. Pasilio’s range of movement of his head is 80% better than what it was before surgery. As expected, he will need further surgeries in the future.” Dr Alamea Fulivai, Tongan Surgeon