Monday, January 14, 2008

Cody makes front page news

This is the article from the Nelson Mail.

An Internet blog has been set up to raise funds and awareness for a Nelson teenager who has a potentially fatal bowel condition and may face a transplant bill of more than $1 million.
Cody Walsh, 16, was diagnosed with a severe form of malrotation volvulus - a birth abnormality where the bowel sits incorrectly in the body - in September, necessitating the removal of most of his upper and lower intestines.
He is now fed only a glucose solution through a tube directly into a vein and has little life quality but, until his liver function improves significantly, it is too dangerous to consider the risky transplant operation in Toronto, Canada.
Family friend Nyle Sunderland, who has been spearheading the fundraising effort, said the blog - - was started to raise funds and awareness of Cody's plight.
So far about $6000 had been raised through bank account deposits and fundraising tins, with more pledged.
However, that is just a drop in the bucket compared to the expected cost of the operation which could climb to over $1 million.
It had previously been thought that the operation would cost just over $500,000 but Ms Sunderland said after talking to other people overseas who had gone through the operation, it was expected the cost could go as high as $1.5 million.
The amount of government funding Cody will receive will not be decided until a decision on the operation is made.
Meanwhile, Cody is due to have an operation on Thursday at Nelson Hospital to rejoin the remaining parts of his upper and lower intestines which, if successful, would mean he can eat roughly the equivalent of a sandwich worth of calories each day.
The temporary solution would still mean he would have to feed through a tube.
Cody said that in order for the operation to work, the large bowel would have to learn to absorb nutrients, which was usually the job of the small bowel.
He said he was optimistic about the operation's success but it could be months or years before it began to work.
"It's either that or ... there's not much else you can do."
Donations can also be made to the Cody Walsh Transplant Fund at any Westpac branch or into various collection tins in bars and cafes in Nelson.

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