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The Story of Novemthree Siahaan

Novemthree Siahaan was born in Batam Island, Indonesia on November 3, 1998. He suffered from Gigantiform Cementoma, a rare condition in which his face had a colossal tumor that began developing at the age of two. It is also known as “Gigantiform Cementoma” that usually occurs due to abnormally excessive growth of a teeth or tooth. His life story was a subject of much medical and media attention and he was taken for his treatment to Taiwan. His surgical treatments have been documented by the Discovery Television for international broadcast.

Siahaan was born with a normal face and started getting the tumor as he turned 8 months while he was living with his grandparents. When his parents met him they thought it is someone else. They went to see a local doctor as they weren’t financially stable. The doctor further informed them that the child is affected by black magic. As the time passed his tumor kept growing and covered his entire face. He stopped seeing anything with his right eye, his airway was blocked and he had respiratory problems. His tumor weighed almost two pounds which called for urgent medical intervention. He was taken to the Tz’u Chi Buddhist General Hospital in Hualien, Taiwan. In his first surgery he was treated for his respiratory problem. A tube was placed in his trachea so that he could breathe properly while his tumors were also being removed. His face had to be re-sculpted as it got massively destroyed due to the tumor. In his second surgery the aim was to remove the tumor under his chin whereas in the third surgery the tumor was excised from his mouth and nasal cavity and right part of the neck.

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Gigantiform Cementoma Novemthree Siahaan picture

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Post his surgeries he also had to get therapies to walk and speak properly. He had lost his ability to walk and speak because of the tumors. One year after his surgery, his tumor started coming back, growing faster than before and restricting his respiratory functions. This raised the doctor’s concerns. The doctors decided to perform a permanent tracheotomy which was not easy as the poor sanitation conditions in Siahaan’s village would make it worse. Also there was no guarantee that the tumor would permanently stop. Before this operation he was sent home where he died while sleeping because of a respiratory infection. Novemthree was 6 when he died. He was given a proper burial by the Tzu Chi foundation.

Before surgery

Novemthree Siahaan face

After surgery

Novemthree Siahaan post surgery

Even though he was ostracized by his village community due to his condition, he did not get affected by it as a child and was kind to everybody. His father described him as a kind but naughty kid. Even as a kid he didn’t complain when he was in pain and suffered alone. His story was documented by Discovery Health Channel in 2005. The severe deformity and the kind character of the boy attracted a lot of attention globally. His is one of the 10 rare cases of the tumor that have been recorded.

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