ELATION that Billy Caldwell was successfully brought out of a coma and discharged from the LA Children’s Hospital has been tempered by the scale of the mounting medical bills.
For almost a week his mother Charlotte prayed by Billy’s bedside as he suffered a multitude of epileptic seizures that were only controlled by sedating the 11-year-old Castlederg boy.
Thankfully Billy has been seizure free since being discharged last Thursday, and is back to being the happy wee boy he always is, playing in their small garden at their rented American house.
However, this six day unscheduled hospital stay means thousands and thousands of dollars will be taken from the ‘Keep Billy Alive’ fundraising pot.
The blue light ambulance ride alone when Billy suffered a series of life-threatening epilepsy seizures accrued a cost of over $3,000. Added to that the bills for treatment and payments for overnight stays and a huge chunk has been taken out of the money being raised for Billy’s surgery.
So far just over £130,000 has been raised to save Billy’s life since last July. The original target was £300,000, but with the extended stay in America, a multitude of tests and hospital visits means a huge push is needed to keep the dream alive of getting Billy the life-saving surgery he needs.
Charlotte said, “I have been allowed to take him home where I can care for him, as with his autism he is very unsettled in the hospital.
“Dr Nordli reassured me he has direct access to the ward if anything happens and we have a nurse on call if we need her. I have oxygen, sats monitor and all meds to take home with me.
“He really is a fighter, an inspiration. I think he has just won his biggest battle yet with the seizures and I pray that is the end of them as that was the worst they have ever been.”
To help Billy keep fighting, Charlotte is appealing for people at home to once again dig deep and consider organising a fund-raising event in aid of the Keep Billy Alive campaign.
• To donate text Keep81 and the amount to 70070 or donate online at the links provided on the Keep Billy Alive Facebook page. You can also use this page to get in contact with the campaign team to organise an event.