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Oscar-winning Mainer goes into surgery after big win, mother says

Erin Saindon, who grew up in Gorham, won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for "Avatar: The Way of Water." Shortly after, he was hospitalized, his family says.

LOS ANGELES — A Mainer who won an Oscar on Sunday evening went into surgery shortly afterward, his mother said. 

Eric Saindon, who grew up in Gorham, won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on "Avatar: The Way of Water" (along with Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, and Daniel Barrett). 

His mother, Lila Saindon, told NEWS CENTER Maine the greatest night of his life turned out to be unforgettable, just not in the way he expected. The Mainer had been suffering from "serious pains" and went to a hospital. 

Doctors suspected the visual effects artist might have appendicitis but ruled it out, eventually suspecting kidney stones. But Lila Saindon said her son was determined to be at the Oscars. After receiving treatment for pain, he changed into a tuxedo in a hospital bathroom and went to the ceremony. 

Eric Saindon made it all the way to accepting his Oscar before doubling over in pain shortly after when answering questions from reporters, according to his mother. 

A limousine took the Mainer back to the hospital, and doctors operated on what turned out to be a ruptured small intestine. 

On Monday morning, Eric Saindon was transferred to the intensive care unit and won't be able to return to his home in New Zealand for about a month, his mother said.

Meet the Mainer who supervised the visual effects for 'Avatar: The Way of Water'

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