Saturday, July 19, 2008

Life-threathing surgery deferred...

Life-threatening surgery deferred

as per article in Nelson Mail Saturday, 19 July 2008

A Nelson teenager has had a life-threatening operation deferred thanks to a rare procedure performed by Auckland specialists.
Cody Walsh, 17, has been diagnosed with a rare birth abnormality where his bowel sits incorrectly in his body.
The problem led to the removal of most of his lower and upper intestines last year. His only chance of living normally again is a dangerous bowel transplant in Toronto, Canada, with a price tag of around $1 million.
Cody has been fed a glucose solution directly into major arteries, but repeated life-threatening infections mean he is running out of useable arteries, which have to remain intact for the Toronto operation.
He returned yesterday from Auckland, where doctors inserted an implement called a fistula into a minor arm vein.
Cody's mother Natalie Cozens said it was believed that only two other New Zealanders had had the operation, which was performed for feeding, although it was common for kidney patients on dialysis.
When the fistula is operational in about two months, it will mean Cody can be fed via minor veins, and the chance of infection is drastically reduced.
She said the hope was that it would mean that the need for the Toronto operation, which currently had less than a 50-50 five-year survival rate, could be deferred by up to a decade.
Cody, who had wanted to be a chef before he became ill, was hoping to soon start looking for a job, although it would have to be something that required little exertion.
A blog has been set up,, 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.

Photo above is of Cody and Natalie when they first went to auckland. Taken in the sky tower.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Codys Operation was a success.

Cody was prep and ready for surgery on Monday. They wheeled him off to theatre and sedated him....only to postpone op as there was a huge crash and three helicopters were bringing in the injured. So poor cody was put back in the ward and woken to be told he had not had the operation.

Two days later they wheeled him off and this time he stayed down and they completed the operation. He has been in a lot of pain since this operation and needing morphine for some time for his arm pain. The fiscula facinates cody....I am told it vibrates so he keeps playing with it. lol

The decision was made to leave Cody's hicman line in place as it is working and they dont want to risk damaging the vein. So with Cody doing so well, they boarded a plane and flew for home today. Not with out drama's, due to sickness on board the flight was diverted to CHCH and they had to do a mad dash to catch the plane to Nelson.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back to Auckland

The Auckland team have called and finally both Cody and Natalie head back to Auckland this week.

Both are excited and apprehensive about this trip. It brings about the time for a decision to be made about what is the best option for Cody.

Do we take the risk and remove the blocked hicman line and replace it with a new one or do we go a head with the Fiscula operation on his arm.

Both have positives and negatives.

1) Codys blood is reacting to all the meds he must take and so clots faster than it should. This is why his hicman has been getting blocked. Its his own body fighting the line in his vein and there is not much to be done about this.

2) The fiscula does have less chance for infection....but its a new operation for TPN feeding and its in his right arm.....Cody is right handed so he wont be able to connect to it on his own.

This time while they are away there will be a full time house - there will be NO chance of a re-occurrence of the last trip.

Please stop in and wish them both the best as it is stressful being so far away from family and friends in a strange city and with little support.