American visual effects artist, Eric Saindon, who won an Oscar Sunday for Avatar: The Way of Water, was transported to a hospital during the ceremony with severe pain, eventually undergoing surgery for a rupture in his small intestine.
The 53 year old won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects with Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, and Daniel Barrett at the event on Sunday March 12, serving as a senior visual effects supervisor on the blockbuster motion picture from James Cameron.
However, his mother Lila Saindon told Newsmen that Saindon had been dealing with ‘serious pains’ throughout the day and visited a hospital as a result ahead of the ceremony.
Doctors speculated that Saindon could be dealing with appendicitis, and then kidney stones. He was treated for pain – but ‘determined to be at the Oscars,’ according to his mother – he put his tuxedo on while at the hospital, heading to the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
After accepting his award at the show with his three colleagues, Saindon was transported back to the hospital via limousine.
It was later determined he had a rupture in his small intestine, which doctors operated on.
A rep for the VFX production company Weta FX told Entertainment Tonight Monday that Saindon is ‘doing okay and recovering as we speak,’ adding, ‘I’m just glad he left when he did. A rupture is serious stuff.’
Saindon’s mother told the station that he was subsequently transferred to the intensive care unit of the hospital.
He will not be cleared to return to his home in New Zealand for around a month, according to his mother.
The Oscars victory was the first for Saindon, who was previously nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects twice (along with Letteri) for his work on 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The Avatar team prevailed over other nominees in the category from the films All Quiet on the Western Front, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick