Monday, December 31, 2007

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.


joybells63 said...

Hi Cody, I hope you have a great day today celebrating the new year... new beginnings... take care, we are thinking of you, Joy.

natalie said...

hi natalie here cody's mum god it will be good to have full use of a computer again - my laptop cr*&^)d out a few months ago and ive had to pinch Cody's on the rare occasion that it's not being used by him or usually one of his mates - Nyle the honeychile has sourced one for me from her old work place Thanks again Chick you're a legend. Cody's still in hospital - he came home over the weekend but although the break from hospital was good it was not great for his pain control as I couldn't give him his pain relief through IV so we had to make do with pr and oral analgesics which didn't control his levels enough so he's back in for a day or more depending on his comfort levels - plus our house has stairs and the bathroom is up stairs which makes it a bit inconvenient for someone who has staples in his stomach - luckily we had a commode etc. Anyhoo these issues become major for someone with the issues that Cody faces. anyway thanks again to all of you who support us and are following Cody's journey - also please consider organ donation as NZ as a major deficit of donors this is passed on by Alf Deacon Cody's wonder surgeon. We are lucky to have Alf on board. Thanks Nyle you have and are doing such valuable work for Cody and myself. Nyle has set up Codys transplant fund and does heaps besides for us.

Anonymous said...

Cody...I just read your story and I think that you are a living miracle. It is so amazing that you are alive. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stay alive! It is amazing! I hope your funding goes well and I intend to donate. From what I have read, you are a truly amazing person. Feel better! -USA

Anonymous said...

hi my name is cody walsh too. ihad an emergency surgery at the age of 17. it saved my life even though iwas clinically dead for 2 minutes. i'm here to tell you there is hope and that if you stay strong and fight amazing things can happen. good luck dude.