ON THE MEND: Luke Reinbott recovers in hospital after surgery to remove an inferior vena cava filter.
ON THE MEND: Luke Reinbott recovers in hospital after surgery to remove an inferior vena cava filter. Contributed

Surgery in US leaves Luke pain-free after fundraising effort

SURGERY in the United States to remove a potential time bomb from the body of a young Sunshine Coast man has been successful.

Interventional radiologist Dr William Kuo removed an inferior vena cava filter from Luke Reinbott in a procedure that took less than two hours on Saturday morning.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Luke's father, Paul, posted that his son's pain had "disappeared pretty much overnight" in a remarkable turn-around after six excruciating months.

"He is recovering very well from the surgery and all he wants to do is get stuck into working again," Mr Reinbott posted.

The IVC was inserted into one of Luke's veins to stop clotting after he was admitted to hospital following a severe brain injury four years ago.

But the device was not removed later as per normal and had shifted, leaving the Cooroibah 24-year-old in almost constant pain.

His parents feared it could be life-threatening if it moved further or broke up. Their only option in Australia was risky and arduous surgery.

Luke's parents heard of a doctor in the United States who could remove the device using a combination of keyhole surgery and laser technology.

The procedure was Dr Kuo's first "complex retrieval on an Australian patient."

A fundraising campaign through Smiles of Strength, a charity which was the brainchild of Luke's late fiancee, Stacey Mowle, was set up to raise the $130,000 they needed to get him to the US for the procedure.

Stacey's mother, Deb Waters, said the campaign had raised $114,000 but she still hoped to "close the gap" for the Reinbott family.

A car-wash will be held at Pomona Paint and Panel on October 10 from 9am to noon.

Anytime Fitness Cooroy trainer Michelle Thiele will also step up - literally - to raise money in a stair challenge on Friday.

Ms Thiele plans to climb 200 steps in Hastings St 20 times and is looking for people to join her.

The Reinbotts expect to return to the Sunshine Coast this weekend.

In his Facebook post, Mr Reinbott said "a massive thank you" to supporters on behalf of Luke and the rest of his family.

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