Oscar Winner Eric Saindon Rushed to Hospital Immediately After Ceremony

Avatar: The Way of Water won Best Visual Effects at the Oscars Sunday night, but the celebrations were short-lived for senior visual effects supervisor Eric Saindon. Shortly after the team received their Academy Award during the 95th Academy Awards, Saindon was forced to leave the ceremony early and was rushed straight into surgery after he experienced a scary health emergency.

According to a representative for Weta FX, per IndieWire, the visual effects artist's mother, Laila Saindon who spoke to NBC affiliate News Center Maine, Saindon had been dealing with "serious pain" throughout the day and checked into a Beverly Hills hospital around noon Sunday. Although doctors initially suspected appendicitis or kidney stones as the culprit for the gastrointestinal pain, Saindon tested negative for both. Despite the discomfort, Saindon was determined to attend the Oscars and received painkillers from his doctors to help with the pain.

After accepting his award at the show with his three colleagues for their work in bringing Pandora to life in James Cameron's blockbuster, Saindon doubled "over in pain... when answering questions from reporters," according to his mother. A rep from Weta FX said Saindon left his press room interview at the ceremony to return to the hospital, where doctors determined he had a rupture in his small intestine. Saindon was immediately rushed into surgery, with his mother telling News Center Maine that her son was transferred to the intensive care unit on Monday and will not be able to return to his home in New Zealand for about a month. In a statement, a representative for Weta FX told Entertainment Tonight, "He's doing okay and recovering as we speak. I'm just glad he left when he did. A rupture is serious stuff."

The Sunday Oscar win 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. It also marked the only win for Avatar: The Way of Water, which received a total of four nominations. Saindon served as on-set VFX supervisor for the film, focusing on bringing the water scenes to life, per IndieWire. He was promoted to senior VFX supervisor during production. He also served as VFX supervisor on the original 2009 Avatar. His other credits include work on The Green Knight, Alita: Battle Angel, Pete's Dragon, Night at the Museum, and X-Men: The Last Stand, among others.