My name is Shylah and I’m reaching out to help my husband get potentially lifesaving treatment. Will and I have been married 10 years this October and we have 2 beautiful kids aged 2 and 5. Will has been battling serious autoimmune conditions for most of his life. He has been suffering from Ulcerative Colitis since age 14 and was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis in 2005. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own liver cells, causing liver failure. At the time of diagnosis we were told that he would need a liver transplant within 5-10 years and the prognosis is very poor with a life expectancy of 10-18 years. Not happy with this prognosis, he has been using diet and lifestyle modification to manage the illness along with alternative and conventional treatments. He has had great success with these over the years.
Despite his illness, he’s always maintained such a positive attitude, not letting it define or limit him. He’s never treated it as a death sentence and chose to live in the present moment. For the last year or so, despite all of this, Will’s health has deteriorated and he has had multiple hospital admissions and treatments. In 2017 we have seen his condition degrade quickly. He has been unable to work for 2 months and is now mostly house bound with severe fatigue, nausea, pain and other debilitating symptoms. Some days he barely has the energy to walk a few metres. His specialist right now, is painting a very worrying and grim picture and wants to start him on a new experimental drug that will require regular and ongoing visits to hospital for infusions. The long term side effects are unknown and it’s not effective for everyone. It’s not the path that Will wants to go down but there are few other options.
Before we go down this route, Will is heading to Melbourne to undergo treatment under a world leading Gastroenterologist, who has pioneered new a new treatment for ulcerative colitis. This treatment aims to kill off the harmful gut bacteria and restore the good gut bacteria. This clinic is very highly regarded world wide and 46% of their ulcerative colitis patients go into full remission and off their medications within a few months and over 70% have an improvement in symptoms. Due to the severity of Will’s condition, we were lucky enough to get him into the clinic on the 7th September for treatment, despite being fully booked for many months. This will cost $7000 and will take a few weeks. The chance of full remission gives us so much hope. While it may not be a cure for his liver condition, we are hopeful that by curing his UC and continuing the healthy diet and lifestyle we may be able to prevent or at least slow the onset of liver failure.
Over the last year, Will’s medical bills/treatments have totalled nearly $20,000, exhausting all of our emergency funds/savings. This is putting strain on a single income family, especially the added pressure of Will being unable to work for such a long period and the worry of not knowing when/if he will be well enough to return to work.
I have decided to reach out and ask for help to raise money for Will’s upcoming treatment in Melbourne. Although financially it’s not very viable, we NEED to make it happen and see it as a last resort to try to get his health back. We need to try and turn this around for the sake of our kids. They deserve to grow up with a Dad. Will is also desperate to get back to his career as a firefighter, to do the job that he loves and to be the father that he isn’t capable of being right now. Cooper asked a few days ago, Dad, why don’t you play with me anymore, and I saw Will’s heart break. He also can’t pick up our 2 year old anymore which I know kills him. This upcoming treatment brings us so much hope. Thank you for reading our story and thankyou to anyone who chooses to donate towards Will’s treatment. Even a small amount raised towards the bill will be so appreciated and help us greatly.
Health and happiness always
Love Shylah, Will, Cooper and Maya xxoo
- Mat Mclaughlin
- Kate Hood
- Amanda Maisey
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