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Silent auction to benefit local youth


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  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.       Special photo

  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 diseases.

  Chicago Children’s 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.

 Heritage 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.



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