When you first meet eight-year-old Courtney Wilson, you would never suspect she is in severe pain every day, nor that she faces a trip to Sydney later this month for high-risk brain surgery.
The Jurien Bay student has undergone several tests over the past three months that have confirmed a pineal cyst on her brain.
She suffers from constant headaches, blurred vision, numbness, tremors, dizziness and “bubbles” throughout her head and body.
“It feels like I have little bubbles and sometimes big bubbles in my body and head and when they pop they give heaps of pain,” she said.
Courtney’s parents, Sarah and Justin were shocked when Perth doctors told them that their findings were incidental and did not relate to her symptoms, meaning the cyst was not the cause of her problems.
After doing her own research, Sarah found many other people going through the same experience and that there are only a handful of neurosurgeons in the world willing to remove pineal cysts.
Thankfully, one of them is in Sydney.
High-profile neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo will see Courtney on November 20 and if all goes well, he’ll perform the surgery the next day.
But unfortunately for the Wilsons, it won’t be cheap — his consultation fee is $700 and the surgery $60,000.
“It was the biggest relief when we got the call from Dr Teo’s office, but then it was, ‘Where will we get that amount of money?’,” Sarah said.
The answer was in establishing the online fundraiser Courtney’s Cause — a facebook page, auction and a donation page on You Caring.
In less than a week, they had raised over $30,000 and had over 730 “likes”.
They are overwhelmed by the kindness that has been bestowed upon them in their time of need.
“Thank you so much to everyone who has offered their support.
It’s completely amazing,” they said.
They still need more than $30,000 to cover the surgery bill, flights, accommodation and to help with general expenses as Justin has used up all his annual leave and sick days.
To donate and help Courtney’s cause, please visit youcaring.com or facebook and search for “courtneys cause”.