By Melissa Robinson
In addition to his
full-time job as director of Henry County Transit, David
Williamson has been spending much of his free time on a cause
close to his heart—raising money to send his grandson to a
children’s hospital in Chicago.
Allen “Trey” Patrick suffers
from a rare condition that prevents him from living a normal
12 year-old boy’s life.
He said his grandson,
Allen “Trey” Patrick, suffers from what his doctors believe is a
rare condition known as ROHHAD syndrome, an uncommon disorder
that causes rapid weight gain, decreases lung function and a
host of other maladies that make him unable to live a normal 12
year-old boy's life.
Williamson said that as a
baby, Trey was born with Tricuspid Valve Stenosis and had an ASD
repair surgery. He progressed normally although with some
medical fragility, until he was approximately three years old.
It was then that doctors discovered an abnormal rate of growth
and related medical problems that continue to this day. Trey is
on oxygen 24 hours a day, is limited in his activities, needs a
wheelchair for long outings, easily contracts germs and
infections and is home-schooled due to his medical condition.
Williamson said that
there are no doctors in Georgia who are qualified to diagnose
and treat ROHHAD; however, Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital
has a specialty department dedicated to the disease. He said
that because Trey’s parents are unable to care for him
physically or financially, his paternal grandparents, Donna and
Terry Arnett, have been taking care of him for several years.
Although he is insured under Medicaid, the program refuses to
pay for treatment because it’s not one of their recognized
Hospital said they would underwrite the cost for Trey to be
evaluated and come up with a treatment plan; however they expect
the family to make a good faith payment—hence the fundraisers.
He said without
insurance, any hospital or medical treatment can be costly. He
estimates treatment at the Chicago hospital could run well past
the $100,000 mark. Williamson said through fundraising and yard
sales, he and his family members, along with two churches, have
raised $5,000 and hope to be able to raise $15,000 to pay the
hospital. He said they will be taking Trey to the Chicago
Children’s Hospital after January 1, 2013.
“It’s difficult for me to
ask for help,” said Williamson. “But I have been amazed at the
kindness of people who have donated and who have helped,
especially people from Mt. Bethel and Union Methodist churches.
They have been so supportive.”
In an effort to raise
more money, Williamson is hosting the Trey Patrick Medical Fund
Benefit Silent Auction on Saturday, October 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.
at Heritage Park in Conference Room B. Items up for auction
include collectibles, gift baskets, gift certificates and other
new items. All are welcome to attend and anyone wishing to
donate new or collectible items should contact him directly.
Park is located at 97 Lake Dow Rd. in McDonough. For more
information, to donate new or collectible items or to make a
financial donation, contact Williamson 678-300-2239.