Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Little Josh’s Battle Will Continue On

28 Aug 2009This blog talks about the little boy called Josh Koman; when he was only three years old, in February this year, he fell into his family’s backyard swimming pool and almost drowned.

He was unconscious while his dad, John, tried to revive him but he wasn’t breathing for almost 40 minutes. He was taken to hospital where he remained for weeks.

As a result, according to the media, he is now brain damaged and paralyzed. Although his mother, Wendy, says on her blog that he has moved his head, fingers and toes slightly.

To help the family out, a friend contacted 2Day FM, to tell them about the family’s ordeal and Josh’s heart wrenching story. The radio station then started a fundraiser, from this; they received offers of over $150,000 to be donated to help with Josh’s care and recovery. That was back in March and until yesterday, they had only seen just over a third of that money.

When the family went in to collect what they thought would be a cheque for $150,000, instead, they were only given a list of names and numbers of the people who donated money, they were expected to call all of those people and chase up the money themselves. 2Day FM said that they raised money and got attention to the issue and their part was over.

Kyle Sandilands said he would give the family $35,000 out of his own pocket but had only given $20,000 of it. He has said in reports yesterday that he tried to personally deliver the money three times but with all of Josh’s medical appointments, everyone was never available at the same time. Sandilands gave $20,000 to the family but then says he didn’t know where to distribute the rest of the money to best help josh, as his parents recently separated.

Since the controversial reports on the Today show, Sandilands has donated the rest of the money promised. 2Day FM has also said they have contacted the contributors with the family’s bank details so they don’t have to make those demeaning phone calls themselves.

A wonderful man by the name of Michael James of Strategic Airlines in Brisbane has said today that he would donate the rest of the money, that’s $85,000 so that the family receives the full $150,000 that was originally promised to them. Mr James has a child with a mild form of Down Syndrome, so he understands what it’s like to have a child with a disability and can relate to the trials and tribulations that come along with it. To look at the stories from all points of view, click on the links I have attached.

For Kyle Sandilands version, click on http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=851080

For the Today show’s version, click on - http://news.ninemsn.com.au/entertainment/850662/sandilands-short-changed-disabled-boy -

For Mr James’ version, click on - http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=851212

I think this is the case of yet another publicity stunt by 2Day FM that has backfired. It was nice enough of them to do the fundraiser but to tell the mother to be ‘more emotional’ (as shown in the Today show interview), is ridiculous, hasn’t the family been through enough? Then they were told to call the people who donated and ask for their money, how humiliating! That money could’ve really helped them at the time. At a time when this was all just new to them and they would’ve had to dramatically change their lifestyles to care for their son. They had to take care of themselves, their other children and now a severely disabled child. That would’ve been a time when $150,000 would have been a huge help but instead the promise was not fulfilled.

It’s awful when the media uses unfortunate incidents’ to boost ratings.

As for Kyle, it was nice of him to want to donate the money personally, but wasn’t the whole idea to help the family, if he really wanted to, he could’ve just deposited the money directly into their bank account. To me, it sounds as if he wanted his own publicity by being the big savior and to possibly have photos printed of him handing over the money.

To Mr James, I commend him for his generosity; it takes a strong person to live with someone who has a disability. It also takes a lot of resources and for someone like Mr James, who can afford to help, to hand over that kind of money, shows that there are people out there who don’t want to do things just to get something back, but just to help out a fellow Aussie battler who needs some assistance.

If you would like to make a donation to the Koman family, go to their website which has account details at http://joshuakoman.blogspot.com/


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