A KILLYGORDON family have made another desperate appeal for help, having been left with an ‘initial’ $170,000 (€155,000) medical bill after their little son received a life saving operation in America.
Caolan Melaugh was just 10-weeks-old when his parents, Gerard and Stacey, received the devastating news that he had Stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer.
After finishing high intensity chemotherapy treatment for more than 15 months in Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin, his oncologist gave him the ‘all clear’ in July.
However, patients with Neuroblastoma have a 70 per cent chance of relapse and almost €150,000 had been raised locally to send him to America for specialist treatment.
Unfortunately, Caolan had a major setback while in the US for a routine check-up last month.
He went to Michigan with his father and aunt, as his mother Stacey was expecting their second baby. Caolan’s brother, Eoghan, has since arrived safely.
“Caolan was scheduled for his routine three month scans, but things took a turn for the worse. He took a seizure and was rushed to A&E,” Stacey told the Donegal News this week.
“Further scans showed Caolan had two bleeds to his brain, further tests showed he had relapsed in his brain. It has been the most horrific couple of weeks for us as parents and for our family, especially Caolan, but he somehow manages to smile and pick himself back up so quick he really amazes me everyday.
“Caolan had two brain surgeries to remove the tumours and spent almost two weeks as an inpatient in Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan were he received exceptional care and they saved his life, for which we will be forever grateful. However with this comes an initial bill in excess of $170,000, the money we raised to date is now all gone as we have to pay this bill. But, the final bill will be much higher than that and we have no money left.”
Now 21 months old, Caolan has started a new chemotherapy regime in Crumlin which his parents hope will get him back in remission, but this will not be enough. They will need to seek further treatment outside of Ireland when chemo finishes in five months time.
“What this treatment will be, we are unsure yet and are working with Caolan’s consultant to figure out what is the best option for Caolan. Whatever extra treatment he will need will not be available in Ireland,” Stacey added.
“This will not be possible unless we have the money to pay for the treatment, and for this reason, we are asking people for help again. People have been so good to us and we appreciate it so much and we do not like to ask people again, but the reality is we have no choice. We need Caolan to have options available to him and we can’t do it alone, this, we hope, people will understand.”
You can follow Caolan’s story on Facebook, Twitter or www.caolanmelaughfund.com as his battle continues and also for all updates on fund-raising events.
If you would like to donate to the fund, or maybe set up a fund-raising event, please contact 086 3226848 or 087 6150352. Donations can be made to Bank of Ireland, Ballybofey: Account no: 92711175; Sort code: 904712.
For full report, see today’s Donegal News or subscribe to our digital edition.
Posted: 7:55 am October 24, 2016