Monday, December 31, 2007

Cody in better days

Heres Cody while working at Shooters bar as a glassy.
He was a fav with the staff .... as you can clearly see.

A step backwards

Money for ailing teen swiped. A second donation tin holding about $1000 towards a Nelson teen's lifesaving operation has been stolen and it could be years before he gets public funding for the expensive procedure.
Cody Walsh, 16, had emergency surgery in September
to remove most of his lower and upper intestines after
it was discovered he had a rare and fatal intestinal condition called malrotation volvulus, where the bowel
sits incorrectly in the body. He is now fed a glucose solution through tubes into a vein. More than $1,000,000 has to be found for a lifesaving operation in Toronto, Canada.
The medication he is on will wreck his liver within three
to five years although infections could do it sooner.
Family friend Nyle Sunderland, who has been spearheading the fundraising effort, said a donation tin
which had been on the bar of the Stables tavern in
Richmond, was stolen on Tuesday.
"You take a step forward and 10 steps backwards," she
said of the "unfathomable" theft. It came less than three weeks after another tin was stolen from the Turf Hotel in Stoke, holding up to $500 for Cody's operation. Donations had been "absolutely fantastic" and had so far reached about $2500, plus a pledge of $5000 from Cody's former employers. Money in other tins had not yet been counted. All the tins were now chained down but Mrs Sunderland feared the theft would put people off donating further. Cody said the theft had been "pretty rank - I hope the person gets caught". He said his condition had been fluctuating but there was a good chance he would be getting temporary surgery, in Nelson, that would rejoin the remaining parts of his bowel and mean he could eat about a sandwich a day, while remaining on the feeding tube.
It would partially slow down his liver's degradation as he waited for money to get to Toronto, he said. Nelson Hospital general surgeon Alf Deacon, who confirmed on Thursday that Cody's case had been presented to the Toronto medical team which would perform the operation, said Pharmac had granted special funding for Cody's New Zealand treatment but, because his liver was still functioning, a decision on funding the transplant in Toronto would not be made until his liver deteriorated. He could continue to be fed through tubes for a number of years before doctors could justify risking transplant surgery. Health board general manager of planning and funding Dr Sharon Kletchko said the board did not have a specific fund for the Toronto operation but an application for money could be made for exceptional circumstances.

Donations can be made to the Cody Walsh Transplant Fund at any Westpac branch.

(The person who stole the donation tins has been caught and charged. He was sentenced to 9 month jail)

Surgery Cody's Only Hope

Surgery Cody's only hope.

Young Nelson man Cody Walsh has an extremely rare and fatal intestinal condition that will kill him if he can't fund an operation that will cost more than $1,000,000.
After a lifetime of intense and recurring stomach pain, Cody, 16, checked into Nelson Hospital in September with pain "like a thousand knife stabs".
Nelson Hospital general surgeon Alf Deacon was the first doctor to diagnose Cody's condition as the most severe form of malrotation volvulus - a birth abnormality where the bowel sits incorrectly in the body. The excruciating pain was caused by a "mid-gut strangulation" caused by the condition, and Cody would have been dead within an hour if emergency surgery had not been done immediately, removing most of his upper and lower intestines.
He was then transported to Christchurch Hospital to have feeding tubes inserted. These feed a glucose
solution directly into his bloodstream via a vein. He is now fed through tubes, is only able to take tiny sips of water, and has to inject himself with medication at least three times a day, as well as make nightly trips to Nelson Hospital for antibiotics.
Cody, who plays guitar and has a Playstation near his couch, can barely leave home but is pragmatic about his situation. Without an upper intestine and liver transplant in Canada, the medication he is on will wreck his liver within three to five years. There is also a risk of infections, one of which he has already had, which could kill him sooner. Dr Deacon said Cody's condition was "extremely rare", affecting about one in 350,000 babies, though most cases were detected immediately after birth. It was far harder to diagnose in adult patients. He said the closest place where the operation was available was Toronto, and it had only ever been done
successfully for one other South Islander. Even if Cody was accepted for surgery, the operation could still be five years away. Cody's mother Natalie Cozens said there was no way she could raise the funds for the surgery herself, and was relying on donations. She and Cody would have to live in Toronto for up to a year while they waited for a donor, which would easily push the cost over $1,000,000.

Several thousand dollars has already been raised through collection tins at Nelson bar Shooters, where Cody worked before becoming ill. Cody's boss at Shooters, Craig Bradford, said the parent company, CEA Trading, had already donated $5000 and was looking at giving more.
"He's a fantastic kid and deserves all the help he can get." He said Cody's friends at the bar were distraught but were managing to remain upbeat.
Donations can also be made to the Cody Walsh Transplant Fund at any Westpac branch.