Help for Flynn, parents

After asking about Mindarie Bunnings Warehouse employee and Flynn�s dad Sean, Beverly Colbridge called on Quinns Rocks businesses to give to a hamper for the �exhausted� parents and donated to their fundraising page.

Mum Caitlin said Flynn was born with infantile polyarteritis nodosa but it was not detected for months.

�Since birth he�s always been quite an upset, unsettled baby and we sort of thought that was maybe a stage but when it persisted past six months we started to think that something was not quite right with him,� mum Caitlin said.

�We monitored him over time and by about eight months we noticed that some of the vessels in his feet were getting really large and swollen. He started to crawl and wanted to pull-up at that stage and then everything stopped and he didn�t want to bear weight.�

They were sent to Joondalup Hospital for checks by their general practitioner but took Flynn to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) when things took a turn the following day.

�I woke up and his other leg was quite swollen and I thought �no, better take him to PMH�. They did a blood pressure check on him� it was just uncontrollably high,� she said.

Flynn was admitted that afternoon but was diagnosed about four months later, two days before Christmas.

�All the arteries in his body are being attacked by his immune system so particularly it�s affected his kidneys, which is why he�s got such high blood pressure,� she said.

�But also from his groin down, his legs are very malformed, all the vessels through his legs. Flynn is the first child that they�ve recognised as having it we believe since birth but definitely one of the youngest that they�ve ever diagnosed.�

She said he was now in his fifth month of chemo-therapy.

�We have had some recent positive results from the scan and some of his blood tests just to say that we are on the right track with treatment because we weren�t even too sure if this was the way to go because it�s so rare,� she said.

�He�s also on a lot of intravenous steroids, blood pressure medication and also anticoagulants because his legs have developed quite a number of blood clots through the vessels, so we are just trying to keep the blood flow up to his feet and his toes.�

She said he was on four very strong painkillers that they had to give him every few hours to keep his pain at bay.

�He�s in a lot of discomfort. He wakes up five to six times a night screaming out in pain and we have to wait until we can administer the next lot,� she said.

Caitlin said watching him suffer was incredibly �tough� but his spirit continued to surprise everyone.

�He�s got a huge personality in such a little body, he just surprises us every day,� she said.

�Now that we�re getting some of that pain under control he�s actually getting up on his feet and pottering around and its just amazing to see him get about and to smile and to try and interact with his sister.�

She said that the support that they had received, including the efforts of caring community members like Mrs Colbridge, had been nothing short of �amazing�.

�It�s just those sorts of things that are absolutely huge for us and mean so much,� she said.

She said with Flynn�s future treatment needs still uncertain, they were continuing to raise funds for ongoing care and to relieve some of the financial burden of hospital travel and parking, medication costs and time away from work.

Mrs Colbridge said she could not stop thinking about the Gray family after hearing about Flynn and wanted to make their life �a little brighter�.

�My heart was filled with joy� the shop owners offered generously without question… meals, haircuts, food, vouchers, massages and a weekend away for this lovely family,� she said.

�When I last looked they were still well behind the target (on Flynn�s fundraising page) to help their beautiful little boy by around $40,000, if we all give a little we can help make their struggle a little easier.�

n To donate, visit www. chuffed.org/project/baby flynn.

n Follow Flynn�s story on Facebook page www.facebook.com/LittleFlynny.