Manawatu Standard

Fundraisin­g efforts pay off for boy

- Sinead Gill

A Feilding woman has successful­ly raised enough money for a toddler in the Philippine­s to get lifesaving surgery.

Kayla Groves, 31, met toddler Keid Lanceta’s mother, Donalyn, 23, in an online support group for parents of children who needed their tonsils out.

Donalyn had shared her son’s story to the group, including videos of the 2-year-old in the Philippine­s struggling to breathe due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

Groves said she and other parents were heartbroke­n. It was the ‘‘most severe’’ case she’d seen and, since launching the fundraiser, Keid had also been diagnosed with pneumonia.

The Philippine­s’ health system was so clogged with Covid-19 that Keid could not receive publicly funded surgery. On July 12,

Groves launched an online fundraiser using the Givealittl­e platform so the toddler could go to a private surgeon. He and his mother would also need to pay $150 each to receive a Covid-19 test, which, if positive, would mean Keid could not get the surgery even privately.

In half a week, strangers from around New Zealand had donated $2689, more than the $2500 goal originally set, although that had since been increased.

Keid had a Covid-19 test, which was negative, however, he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

A tentative surgery date of July 30 has been set. With the help of a translator, Lanceta said: ‘‘We will never forget you all and one day, when Keid grows up, I will tell him again... how there are people who love and care for him even if we don’t know each other.’’

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