A young boy’s dream to walk

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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NINE YEAR OLD FIGHTER: Isaiah Solaafaleata Paul Young hopes to one day walk.

NINE YEAR OLD FIGHTER: Isaiah Solaafaleata Paul Young hopes to one day walk.

While many kids dream of being a doctor, Isaiah Solaafaleata Paul Young hopes to one day walk. 

The nine-year-old fighter from Lotopa is the son of Fiona Hunt and Paul Young, who reside in Auckland, New Zealand.

Isaiah is unable to stand or walk because of spastic diplegia, which resulted from oxygen deprivation during a premature birth. 

According to his grandmother, Beth Hunt, their family is seeking funds for Isaiah to undergo surgery in America and get medical treatment that he needs before it is too late for him to walk. 

“He has fortunately been accepted for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery by the foremost specialist in this field in the world, a Dr. Park, who operates in the St Louis Children’s Hospital, St Louis, Missouri.”

“The procedure is most effective if performed between the ages of three and eight years. Because Isaiah turns 10 in September, Dr. Park has urgently recommended that he take advantage of an opening on the cancellation list on July 24 of this year,” Mrs. Hunt said.

 “Unfortunately, if we as a family cannot raise the US$78,495 (T$204,627) medical costs required by the hospital before then, he will lose his place on the list.”

“Although the operation may be performed later, it may not be as effective in long term relief of the spasticity in his legs. In addition, there are the costs of airfares and ground transportation, accommodation and living costs.”             

At the moment, Isaiah faces life in a wheelchair unless he receives the benefit of expensive medical treatment, which is not available in New Zealand. His family is working for any way possible to get support.

“For this reason, we are scrambling to try and raise funds. Several activities have already been held and a “Give a little” page set up. Isaiah is a great fan of rugby, wrestling and boxing, and during a photo session with Joseph Parker last month, the champ donated a pair of autographed boxing gloves for auction.”

“He was interviewed on TV NZ’s breakfast show, The Cafe, which has raised some interest and an interview on Tagata Pasefika has also been scheduled. Any and all publicity which can help attract sponsorship for Isaiah would be greatly appreciated,” she added.

For those who are willing to help Isaiah you may visit his Facebook page, “Isaiah’s Dream to Walk” or the “Give a little” site: http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/isaiahsdreamtowalk, or download the TVNZ segment. 

You can also contact his grandmother, Beth Hunt, on 21473 or 7738580 or Isaiah’s grandfather, Patu Tupuola Siaosi Hunt, on 7561530.

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