Peruvian teen hopes to find second chance in Seattle

Peruvian teen hopes to find second chance in Seattle »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Some of the best doctors in the world and some of the biggest hearts in the world reside in Seattle.

And the unique combination came together this week to give a Peruvian teen with a potentially fatal tumor a second chance at life.

Christian Choccota is just 18, but he has a tumor on his pituitary gland that's grown to be the size of an orange. If it's not removed, the tumor will kill him.

But thankfully a non-profit organization called Healing the Children came to his rescue. The volunteer group works to provide medical care for children around the world who do not have access to appropriate care.

The organization arranged for Choccota to leave his home in Peru and fly to Seattle for a life-saving surgery. He arrived at Sea-Tac Airport on Wednesday.

"The international contact told me this was his first flight ever," said Rebecca Snyders with Healing the Children. "So this is his first time out of the country, his first time flying. He's coming here to stay with people he's never met."

Having flown for the first time and for such a long distance, Choccota arrived hungry and tired. But he was also wide-eyed as he took in the scenes of a foreign country.

Choccota will be in the care of Dr. Marc Mayberg and his specialized team at Swedish Hospital. The team will use cutting-edge technology to remove the tumor.

The procedure will not involve any incisions; the medical team will enter Choccota's brain through his nose and remove the tumor.

"It's unfortunate that we don't have the ability to care for everyone in the world with this technology. The technology that's being used in this case is worth millions and millions of dollars," said Mayberg.

Mayberg plans to perform the procedure on Friday morning.

Until then, Choccota will stay with a host family in Everett.