Young patient gets an early present
Christmas has come early for an 11-year-old boy who spent more than two months away from home because of a rare kidney disorder.
Transplant patient Elliott Goldfinch realised one of his life’s dreams and donned a pilot’s hat to navigate a Boeing 747 over Hong Kong and then New York.
While it’s not the real deal the flight simulator is an exciting change for the youngster who endured weeks-on-end in hospital.
‘‘I really like planes. I wanted to fly to Hong Kong because there are lots of old buildings,’’ he says.
Elliott recently received a kidney transplant after being diagnosed with nephronopthisis, a genetic kidney disorder that affects children.
His mother Charmayne says they had no idea he was ill and only took him to the doctor after a family member suggested he was pale.
Mrs Goldfinch says the doctor called her and said Elliott’s bloodtest results were ‘‘impressive’’.
‘‘He told me to get Elliott from school. He was admitted on the spot.’’
The family hails from Palmerston North but Elliott and his mum had to come to Auckland where Mrs Goldfinch donated one of her own kidneys to her son. However, before the transplant could be done Elliott had six weeks of dialysis.
‘‘The staff at Auckland Hospital moved heaven and earth to get it done as quick as possible.
‘‘We had it all done within six weeks because they wanted Elliott to have the surgery done before Christmas,’’ she says.
The pair lived at Ronald McDonald House for two months and have just returned home to spend the festive season with Elliott’s dad and three sisters.
Jo Morgan from Kidney Kids says when she went to visit the family she thought of a way to bring some early Christmas cheer.
‘‘I heard that Elliott wanted to be a pilot when he’s older so I made a phone call to Fly A Jet and the company instantly wanted to help out.’’
Kidney Kids is a parentdriven organisation that aims to provide support for children living with kidney disease.
She says Christmas can be a particularly tough time for young patients as they can be isolated from families.
Soaring: Transplant patient Elliott Goldfinch got to ‘‘fly’’ a Boeing 747 to New York thanks to the help of Kidney Kids.