Aidan Maddocks (14), from Pietermaritzburg, was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia at birth, a childhood liver disease that only affects 1 in 10,000–15,000 live births and was given a life expectancy of only 2 years, news that “crushed” first time parents, Carmen (42) and Allistair (48).
At 3 months old, Aidan underwent a Kasai Operation at Albert Luthuli Hospital to remove any problematic bile ducts outside his liver that were either abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent. Whilst the surgery was a success, it was said to only be temporary solution, expected to last 12 years.
The Carter High School Student has since birth surpassed all expectations placed on him, he’s in the top class for grade 8, despite doctors predicting he would struggle through school and he has made his parents very proud.
“Aidan is a very gentle child. He is witty, loves joking around and has a fantastic sense of humor despite the challenges he’s had to overcome in his short life“ – says mum, Carmen.
As predicted, the Kasai procedure, which has for years allowed bile to be drained from Aidan’s liver is no longer viable as his liver is severely damaged and deteriorating at a rapid rate.
“The news of Aidan’s failing liver has shaken us, although we knew this day would come. As a parent there’s no way you can prepare for this emotional roller-coaster. The fact that things could change in an instant is very frightening.” – says Carmen.
Despite being a blood-type match for her son, it was soon discovered that Aiden would need a full transplant due to the extensive damage to his liver, meaning the match will need to come from a cadaver.
“As a parent you would do anything for your child, I felt hopeless hearing that my hands are tied and there’s nothing I can do to save my son from his condition.” – says Carmen.
In anticipation for a potential donor match, the Maddocks family created a campaign on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, to appeal to the public to support their son through his upcoming medical procedures.
Funds raised will also support the family with the accompanying travel costs to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town where Aidan has met regularly with a “wonderful” group of professors, surgeons and specialist doctors for the last 13 years.
Post surgery Aidan will also be required to stay in hospital for a minimum of 3 months and Carmen will need to take unpaid leave to be at her son’s side. The fundraising target also factors in post-surgery costs the family will incur as Aidan begins his new chapter.
Aidan’s campaign went live on the 5th of July and has thus far raised R74 255.32 towards their fundraising target of R200 000 with contributions from 54 donors.
“There is no way for us to describe our gratitude to everyone who has supported our BackaBuddy campaign. We have been overwhelmed and humbled, not only by the financial contributions, but the prayers and words of encouragement we have received during a very difficult time in our lives” – says Carmen.
You can support Aidan by donating to his BackaBuddy campaign here
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