52 Lives

#19 PatrIck

Request: Donations, to raise money for his operation.

Patrick Walsh is a young boy from Auckland, New Zealand, who needs help.

When Patrick was 3, doctors discovered he had been born with Ebstein's Anomaly, a rare heart defect. Patrick has been doing well so far, but his heart is beginning to fail and he needs surgery.

His condition is very rare, so having it in New Zealand is not an option. He is scheduled to have the surgery in the United States in 4 weeks, with Dr Joseph Dearani at the Mayo Clinic – an expert in this field. Patrick’s mum and dad, Melanie and John, are hoping Dr Dearani’s expertise will give their son the best possible outcome, and the best chance at a normal life.

What We Need

As you can imagine, heart surgery in the US does not come cheap. So the family set-up a fundraising page to help them raise the NZ $200,000 (approx. £100,000) they need for their son's surgery and trip.

Patrick’s story has been covered in the NZ press, and friends and family have been holding charity auctions, doing sponsored cycles etc, which have so far raised more than $25,000. But there is still a very long way to go.

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for John and Melanie to have a child who needs a surgery they are unable to pay for.

It’s a lot of money, and I know we won’t be able to get them everything they need, but it would be great if we could make even a small difference to this family.

What We Did

More than NZ$11,000 was raised for Patrick in the week of this request, bringing the total raised online to $36,000. I'm sure it wasn't all from us but I like to think we helped a little bit!

UPDATE: Patrick had his surgery in June 2014, and so far so good!

You can follow his story here

"We really appreciate you helping to spread our son's story through your network.
Never in a million years did we think we would be in this position.
But it is truly amazing to see how kind and caring other people can be.
Particularly when you feel you're in the toughest place in your life."

Patrick's mum