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Transplant gets nearer

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 07:57 25/01/2013
MAdison

IN NEED: Madison and mum Alana are edging closer to their goal of raising enough money for a transplant in the UK.

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The transplant waiting game is familiar territory for a man who has raised $1500 for a toddler in need of a bowel transplant.

Young Rak Son of Hanouri Korean Church last year had a kidney transplant after four years on dialysis.

After reading of Unsworth Heights toddler Madison Merrick's plight in the North Shore Times last year, Mr Son, also of Unsworth Heights, enlisted the help of fellow church members to fundraise.

Madison's story stuck a chord with many of them who gave generously to the cause.

"I know what it is like waiting for a transplant and after reading the article I see that it is very important for her to have this operation.

"But it is very expensive because it is not available in New Zealand or Australia," Mr Son says.

Three-year-old Madison was born with her bowel on the outside of her body, a condition called gastroschisis. After many painful operations and a life spent in Starship Hospital, Madison's only hope now is to have a bowel transplant.

The operation is not available here so instead she must travel to Birmingham Children's Hospital in the UK. In case of complications Madison and her mum Alana will be required to stay on a minimum of two years after the procedure.

Although the operation itself is covered, the pair's living and travel costs are not and so fundraising is the only way to make it possible.

Madison is constantly fighting infections and other complications linked to her being fed through an intravenous tube. If she does not have a transplant soon doctors have warned she is unlikely to survive much longer.

The total amount fundraised so far has exceeded $50,000 bringing the pair closer to their ultimate goal.

Go to madisonmerrick. org.nz to donate.

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