Can-do Con battles for life

Complaining of tiredness and trouble breathing, Con was urged by wife Lorraine to go for a check-up last month thinking it may be the flu.

When his condition worsened the following day he went back for a chest X-ray and blood test, and was diagnosed with cancer and admitted to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for treatment.

About three weeks and many scares later, Con is still in hospital fighting for his life.

Lorraine said it had been an emotional rollercoaster for the family and their three children, Jarrad (25), Travis (23) and Kailah (19), who joined her by his side each day.

�We got to the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and the very next day he just deteriorated,� Loraine told the Times last Thursday.

�They rang me and said �his blood pressure�s dropped and he�s got fluid on the lungs, you might want to get the kids up here�.

�This is a day later and I�m like �what?�. We were just processing the fact that he�s even gone into hospital.�

She said Con had started bleeding from the spleen and blood was going into his stomach.

�They said his whole body was riddled with leukaemia,� she said.

�He had a bad reaction to the chemo and it shut his kidneys down and then next thing he�s being raced into the intensive care unit (ICU) and we were being told he might not live the week out.�

She said they kept Con in the ICU, put him on dialysis and he�d had about 15 blood transfusions which were continuing.

�He has stabilised a little bit but obviously he�s not in a good way because they can�t do the next lot of chemo yet,� she said.

�His platelets are really low and his white blood count�s zero and that needs to be around four or five. They�ve warned us with the next lot of chemo could mean the ICU again because his kidneys aren�t working.�

Lorraine said they had been told that Con, an avid surfer who lives a healthy lifestyle, was just unlucky, with acute myeloid leukaemia often targeting men over the age of 60.

She said he didn�t experience any symptoms other than feeling really tired but looking back, their dog Sammy had been acting peculiarly leading up to the diagnosis, licking Con�s leg where he�d had a spot of darker skin.

�Just the last couple of days he�s been able to really have a conversation with us. He hasn�t known that we�ve been there for the last three weeks,� Lorraine said.

From a busy bee with 30 volunteers, to locals dropping off meals or helping with weeding, she said the lengths people were going to make life a little easier was touching.

�This is when you realise living in a small community is just beautiful,� she said.

�Everybody has come together to help out and do whatever they can.�

She said a friend of Kailah�s had set up a Go Fund Me account for them to help with medical and living expenses, attracting well wishes and words of support from donors.

�We�ve had in the matter of two and a half weeks $37,000 raised,� Lorraine said.

She said Quinns Rocks Primary School, where she used to work in the school canteen, had collected for the fundraiser and that her employer, Kinross Pharmacy, and Con�s, Signature Homes, had been very supportive during the difficult time.

�He�s basically been told there�s a 20 per cent chance that he�ll pull through and if he does that he mostly won�t work forat least five years because of his kidneys� he�ll be on dialysis three times a week,� she said.

�Basically if someone needed something done Con would do it. He�d just be there to do things.�

To help, visit gofundme.com/maasfamilysupport.