Perth dad Wayne Gair was living with ticking time bomb inside him – a 12 kilogram tumour growing in his abdomen.
“My missus said I looked a bit barrel-bellied but I just put it down to middle-age spread,” he said.
Initially, he had no symptoms and no pain. He went to his doctor when he started finding it hard to breathe.
The tumour was 32 centimetres long and the size of an AFL football.
Surgeons at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital had to come up with a way to perform the risky operation to remove the massive growth.
The new surgical procedure involves a modified cardiac bypass machine.
The blood is taken out of the body and processed, doing the job of the heart, so that doctors can perform marathon surgeries without their patients bleeding out.
“It’s a significant improvement in the way to do these operations, to make them safer and doable in some patients,” Dr Mark Newman said.
“It expands the number of patients who can have this curative surgery.”
The procedure saved the grateful father’s life.
“It’s got me here with my kids, it’s fantastic,” he said. “Now I have a second chance at life.”