Delight as donations flow in for Kandice
The family of a 14-year-old schoolgirl with a serious heart condition beat their $10,000 target to pay for urgent medical tests in America just hours after her story was highlighted by The Royal Gazette.
Big-hearted donors, including an anonymous Good Samaritan who gave more than $9,400, pitched in to help after Kandice Young’s family pleaded for help.
Kandice’s mother, Derika Young, who celebrated her birthday yesterday, said it was the best present she could ever get.
Ms Young added: “I definitely wasn’t expecting that to happen so fast. Out of 23 people, we raised $10,590.”
A little more than $200 had been pledged on Monday night, nearly a week after the family set up an online GoFundMe page.
But by 11am yesterday, the cash was in the bag.
The news means Kandice will now be able to travel to the Children’s Hospital in Boston for the tests and possible surgery.
The need for medical tests became urgent after Kandice, who was born with a major heart defect and other health problems, deteriorated after fluid built up around her liver and put pressure on her already damaged heart.
The youngster, from Middletown in Pembroke, has a rare condition called congenital heterotaxy syndrome.
Veins to her heart are narrowed and make it difficult to get a proper blood supply to the heart.
Kandice was also born without a spleen, which makes her prone to illness, and only one working lung, which has lowered the amount of oxygen in the blood going to her already struggling heart.
Ms Young said: “She’s come a long way, her situation is very complex.
“We were told that she might not make it past the age of 12.
“From the beginning, we knew her first surgery would not be her last. But they are trying to get her the best quality of life that she can have.”
Kandice was a candidate for surgery four years ago, but her family decided to wait and see how she managed.
Now doctors in the US will have to decide on the best course of action after tests are carried out.
Now, thanks to the donors on the GoFundMe page, which was highlighted as one of the site’s top fundraisers yesterday, the family can start looking at a date to fly to Boston. Ms Young said: “Once they get all their tests in and gather their date on what they see, we can go from there.
“We’ll have a better picture of whether she is getting worse, or at the same level she’s been all this time.”
She added: “Who’s to say better treatments haven’t come up since the last time?”
Ms Young, a single mother who had to give her up her part-time job to care for Kandice, said she had not yet been able to celebrate.
But she posted on social media: “Thank you — I love you guys.”
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