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Oscars 2023: Avatar VFX winner Eric Saindon is rushed into SURGERY after accepting Academy Award at show

Eric Saindon, a visual effects artist who won an Oscar Sunday for Avatar: The Way of Water, was transported to a hospital during the ceremony on Sunday with severe pain, eventually undergoing surgery for a rupture in his small intestine.

Saindon, 53, won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects with Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, and Daniel Barrett at Sunday’s show. He served as a senior visual effects supervisor on the blockbuster motion picture from James Cameron.

The Oscar-winner’s mother Lila Saindon told NBC affiliate News Center Maine 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, a native of Gorham, Maine, could be dealing with appendicitis, and then kidney stones.

Saindon 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.

The latest: Eric Saindon, 53, a visual effects artist who won an Oscar Sunday for Avatar: The Way of Water, was transported to a hospital during the ceremony on Sunday with severe pain, eventually undergoing surgery. Pictured backstage at the event at the Dolby Theatre in LA

The latest: Eric Saindon, 53, a visual effects artist who won an Oscar Sunday for Avatar: The Way of Water, was transported to a hospital during the ceremony on Sunday with severe pain, eventually undergoing surgery. Pictured backstage at the event at the Dolby Theatre in LA

After accepting his award at the show with his three colleagues, Saindon doubled over in pain while speaking with reporters and 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 win was the only victory of the evening for the highly-anticipated sequel, which was also nominated for Best Sound, Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Achievement in Production Design.

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.

(L-R) Saindon was pictured onstage with peers Richard Baneham, Daniel Barrett and Joe Letteri in accepting the honors for their work on the James Cameron motion picture

(L-R) Saindon was pictured onstage with peers Richard Baneham, Daniel Barrett and Joe Letteri in accepting the honors for their work on the James Cameron motion picture 

Saindon was treated for pain earlier Sunday - and '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

Saindon was treated for pain earlier Sunday – and ‘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

The Oscars victory was the first for Saindon, who was previously nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects twice for his work on 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and 2013's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Oscars victory was the first for Saindon, who was previously nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects twice for his work on 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The visual effects team was pictured backstage posing with their Oscars, shortly before Saindon departed the venue en route to a hospital

The visual effects team was pictured backstage posing with their Oscars, shortly before Saindon departed the venue en route to a hospital 

The win was the only victory of the evening for the highly-anticipated sequel, which was also nominated for Best Sound, Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Achievement in Production Design

The win was the only victory of the evening for the highly-anticipated sequel, which was also nominated for Best Sound, Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Achievement in Production Design

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