Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Charity Ball for Cody Walsh and Nelson Hospice

Charity Ball for Cody Walsh and The Nelson Hospice

21st June 7:30 pm at the Playhouse, Westdale road.
Tickets $95/person
3 course dinner with wine
Live music
Charity Auction
Spot prizes
Dress: Black tie or Suit, Ball or cocktail dress
Tickets available from Clare 03 540 2868
Please contact Clare if anyone is interested in going. There are 16 seats left.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Time for some good news....

Over the weekend everyone helped Cody and Natalie move into a new house - in a much nicer area, one that is warm and quiet and not too far from the hospital. This house already feels like a home. Since they have moved Cody has slept better and has much more energy. He is warmer and feels great.

The new mix of TPN is giving him a much higher calorie intake and already he is gaining some weight.

With the horrid event of the burglary behind them, they now look forward to a brighter and happier future. One of hope and dreams. Cody aspires to be a chef and I truly believe that he will get there as he has proven beyond doubt that he has great courage and stamina.

With mention of the burglary I would like to take this moment to quietly thank a member of the nelson public for their generosity and kindness and how that they turned a horrid event into something so very heart warming. We all cant thank you enough.

There are still hurdles to cross and some obsticles that will be put in their path but I know that they now have the strength to face anything - how can they not with so much support from you all.

Cody went out to a birthday party over the weekend .... and was the centre of attention - as per photo

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Burglars Inflict Cruel Blow.....

By TOM HUNT - Nelson Saturday, 10 May 2008
Having been given a glimmer of hope, seriously ill Nelson teenager Cody Walsh has had another "hideous" blow dealt to him, after burglars broke into his house and stole the few forms of entertainment available to him.
"It's the most hideous, cruellest thing they could have done to my son," were just some of the distraught words of Cody's mother, Natalie Cozens, who returned from a medical trip to Auckland to discover the break-in.
Last September, Cody, 17, almost died when a previously undetected birth abnormality, where the bowel sits incorrectly in the body, caused his gut to strangle and necessitated the immediate removal of most of his upper and lower intestines.
Since then, Cody has been fed a glucose solution directly into his bloodstream via a major vein but frequent line infections, some bringing him to near-death, mean he is down to the final useable vein.
His only hope of ever eating normally again is receiving a bowel and liver transplant in Toronto, Canada, which has a price tag expected to near $1 million, and a one-in-ninety survival rate.
In December, Jason Peter Rochford, 22, was convicted of stealing donation tins from around Nelson, including some for Cody's operation.
Despite it all, Cody has remained upbeat, at one point telling the Nelson Mail: "There's no point moaning about it, you know. That isn't going to help."
Family friend Nyle Sunderland said Cody's mood skyrocketed during a trip to see medical specialists in Auckland over a week ago.
Doctors not only managed to correct the mixture of the glucose solution, to reduce a weight loss problem, but started planning ground-breaking surgery where a major artery was joined to a minor vein, through which the glucose solution would be fed.
It reduced chances of infection and left the one remaining major artery intact and free for surgery, which they say is eventually unavoidable.
The procedure, a New Zealand first, could buy him up to a decade before the transplant was needed, by which time the transplant procedure's survival rates would hopefully have increased, Mrs Sunderland said.
"He came back from Auckland with great hope a great lease of life."
Cody had planned to start studying to become a chef, even if he would only be able to taste food and not eat it, she said.
But when Cody and his mother got home, they found their house had been burgled.
The only items stolen belonged to Cody and included PlayStations, games and a brand new external hard-drive that he had saved for.
"Of all the things to steal from Cody that was his life. That was all he could do.
"The money was bad enough but that's what he lived for."
A blog has been set up, www.codywalsh.blogspot.com, to help raise funds and awareness of Cody's plight.
Donations can also be made to the Cody Walsh Transplant Fund at any Westpac branch, or in collection tins at bars and cafes in Nelson.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Codys Trip to Auckland for a second opinion

First they stopped all the fluids going into him (he was getting 6.5 liters each day including his tpn) his out put of fluids was through the roof...hence why he was not gaining any weight. He was 70 kg and is now only 45 kg.

Second, they changed his TPN mix and put iron, folic acid and zinc in (as the dietian had not added that from nelson) with in one night he was a different kid. Just truly amazing....getting a text from him at 7.30am asking for us to hurry up and get up there and to bring hair gel......he has not bothered about his appearance in months nor been awake before 11am

Third, Jill the TPN specialist came and talked to him ..... in minutes he was suddenly given his whole life back and was planning his chef course again. He was told that NO ONE but him must ever do his line care...even when in hospital. NO nurses or district nurse. One thing no one had told them.....where to do his tpn and line care. He had been doing it in the lounge sitting on an old couch with people in the room, a fire burning.....he was using hygnic methods etc but just not in the right area. So with the new house we are setting up a room for him to use.

Fourth, the top man...Mr Mcall.............we met with him on Tuesday...he said he didn't feel that Cody would ever need a transplant. That they have a lady currently on tpn and has used one vein for 10 years...no reason Cody cant do that too with the RIGHT CARE....but he also said that if things didn't track along right then we would face that one as it came...that Cody liver was perfect.....and so long as that remained that way things would be ok............BUT....he said that he wanted to see what the Vein Scan showed before he would give Cody the ...you don't need a transplant speech.

Fifth, he is not able to eat any more. He never should have been eating in the first place...Cody is now a TASTER....he can eat a couple of mouthfulls of food and thats it. So he is to look at food as a treat.

So we took Cody up the sky tower on day 3 and managed to walk all of queen street (1km)... a first in months......

We met up with Anita, Hamish, ash and aria..............gorgeous family...................and will be a life line for Natalie and Cody as they face many many visits to Auckland now.

So with everything going perfect it was decided that I should return home and back to my life (my huge race for Cody is on this Sunday.........I really hope to win it for him......sigh.....)

Now the bad news.....Today they got the results of the vein scan...................not good news. All of Cody's veins are unusable. He is using his last vein now. Even other access points have been ravaged by infection. So the vein specialist Prof Hill has suggested a rather radical surgery called Dialysis fistula. This is used by Dialysis patients but it is rare to use for TPN access. This is done via his arm and my basic understanding is they join a large artery to a small vein and then take access via the small vein. There is less risk of infection but................when it fails then transplant is his only option. He wont be able to access it himself so Natalie will be trained in how to hook it up. They want to remove his Hickman now so that the last vein could regenerate before it is too badly damaged. So they are doing another scan of his arm tomorrow to see if the veins can be used. So they are to make a decision while they are up there and then will be called back in about 5 weeks to start the surgery.

Plus he is also vomiting way too much so they are going to have a wee look with a camera to see what could be causing that.

The last thing I arranged for them was a trip to the Zoo and they both went for the afternoon. Natalie said that cody was like a little kid in a candy shop......they had got him a wheel chair so he didnt have to walk and he was zipping from one animal to the next. They both had a blast.

So thats about it.....................So yes the trip has been hugely positive and there is still a chance that his life will start again when he returns to nelson. He will now gain weight and that will make him feel much better and have more energy.
Here is a photo of Me, Natalie (codys mum) and Cody at the sky tower.