A two-year-old Filipino boy who since birth had been in need of brain surgery has received treatment in Taiwan that could see him make a speedy recovery.

Francis Joseph, who comes from a rural village in Calbayog, six hours by road from the Philippines capital of Manila, suffered from encephalocele in the frontoethmoidal region of his brain. This caused a severe swelling over the bridge of nose, frequent epileptic seizures and developmental delay, the United Daily News reported.

The child, who only weighed 7.9 kilograms, could not open his eyes due to the protrusion, which also caused tear duct problems and a permanently blocked, runny nose.

A medical team of the Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong from Yilan, Taiwan, visited the Philippines last year on a medical mission. There, they encountered Joseph condition and examined him. In March this year, the boy’s parents filed a request for advanced surgical treatment from the team.

After churches in Taiwan and the Philippines helped raise funds for the  family, Joseph was flown to Taiwan, where two hospitals offered help. Taipei Veterans General Hospital carried out a 10-hour-long operation on September 2 while Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong provided post-surgery rehabilitation services for six weeks.

Celebrating his son’s birthday on October 31, Joseph’s father said he was grateful that their family could finally seek help from an overseas medical team which gave them the only hope possible. Though he was unable to name the many Taiwanese medical specialists who gave their time for his son’s wellbeing, he was truly thankful for them saving his son’s life and giving him a future.