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