News: Boys family needs help

Published in the May 15th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News

Boys family needs help

Edmonton Sun

Maddox Flynn was born just a few days before Christmas two years ago with lymphatic cystic hydroma, a severe and rare malformation on the left side of his face.

After trying several injection treatments to the two-year-old’s face without success, doctors told Maddox’s parents Nicole Champagne and Mike Flynn that there was nothing they could do for their son.

But the family never lost hope.

“When you’re told that nothing can be done, don’t stop believing,” Flynn said at the family’s west-end home Friday.

The family has found a surgeon in New York City who specializes in facial malformations and birth defects, who could clear the malformation and help restore symmetry back to Maddox’s face.

The biggest problem — the cost.

At bare minimum, the two-part operation would cost the family nearly $50,000. That’s excluding travel expenses, post-surgery procedures and if Maddox had to stay extra nights in the hospital, which could cost up to $10,000 per night.

The family had been seeking financial aid from the government, but due to the short time frame they’d been given — the American surgeon wants to operate on Maddox on May 21 — Champagne and Flynn decided to turn to the community for support.

If they don’t get enough money in time, the surgery would have to be postponed to the end of the year, which means both Maddox’s self-esteem, as well as his malformation, could worsen.

“He’s starting to notice people looking at him differently, kids running away from him,” Flynn said.

“If this isn’t treated soon, he could start feeling emotional scarring.”

But since reaching out to the community, the family has been overwhelmed with support from strangers across the province and across the country.

“I got a call from a stranger from Ontario and he started crying because he said he would go into debt to give Maddox some kind of life,” Champagne said, on the verge of tears herself.

“It just means the world to me and I know that it will give him a good life and he deserves it, he’s so beautiful.”

“We just want him to get better,” Champagne smiled as she watched her bubbly little son run around their home.

Although Maddox isn’t expected to be able to see out of his left eye once the surgery is completed, he will be able to fully open and close his eyelids and should be able to speak properly.

The family has set up a trust fund for donations to help pay for Maddox’s surgery. E-mail [email protected].

Dr. Milton Walen, the surgeon operating on Maddox in New York, could not be reached for comment.

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