Colin (71) and Margie Jones (69), doting grandparents from Hillcrest, Durban, have dedicated most of their lives to caring for their grandson, Kyle Skidmore (29), who lives with a rare, inherited condition.
At the age of 12, Kyle was diagnosed with Fanconi Aplastic Anaemia, a disease that occurs when a patient’s bone marrow stops producing platelets.
Patients living with this condition are prone to infections and uncontrolled bleeding. Doctors told Kyle that without a Stem Cell transplant, he wouldn’t see his 21st birthday.
“I remember the weight of our worry before Kyle received his Stem Cell transplant. On the weekdays he would attend school which he loved. On a Friday afternoon, he would visit the haematologist and be admitted to the hospital for the weekend, to receive Platelets and Blood.” – says Colin
In January 2012, Kyle finally got the call that a donor match was found for him in Germany, and he soon underwent a Stem Cell transplant at UCT academic hospital in Cape Town.
After 6 months in hospital, he was eventually discharged, was able to return home, and completed his Matric the following year
Things were finally looking up for Kyle. After his transplant, his platelet count steadily improved until they were near normal levels. He had a new lease on life and was living a happy, healthy life.
A new diagnosis
In December 2021, 10 years since Kyle’s transplant, Kyle began experiencing complications and his lungs began to deteriorate.
After numerous tests and scans in June 2022, Kyle received the devastating news that he has developed Pulmonary Veno Occlusive Disease, another rare genetic condition, characterised by a blockage of the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart (the pulmonary veins).
Currently, Kyle is using a home-based non-portable oxygen concentrator, provided by his medical aid, that keeps him sustained. Doctors say that Kyle’s prognosis is very serious, and that he will need to live on oxygen almost 24 hours a day for the rest of his life.
Crowdfunding on BackaBuddy
Hoping to give Kyle a better quality of life and allow him to explore life beyond his home environment ‘for the rest of his years’, his grandparents have launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, to purchase a Portable Oxygen Concentrator suitable for his needs.
While Kyle has a comprehensive medical aid, a portable oxygen concentrator is not available in his plan.
The Jones’, who are both pensioners, work to provide for themselves and their disabled grandson, who is unable to work, and want nothing more than to give Kyle the life he deserves
“Our hearts break for our grandson who watches the world go on without him from his window. All he has ever wanted was to be healthy to live unencumbered and have the freedom to spend time with his friends and family” -says Colin
Since the launch of the campaign more than R17 000 has been raised towards their fundraising goal of R65 000, with kind contributions from 12 donors.
Funds raised will be used to purchase the device, an additional battery to compensate for load shedding, as well as inevitable maintenance costs.
Support Kyle’s campaign on BackaBuddy: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/kyle-skidmore
Alternatively, donate Via Snapscan: https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/KyleSkidmorePVOD
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