Saanich nine-year-old Madeleine Murray a day before major surgery to fuse her spine and remove the halo rods she's been wearing for a month.

Saanich nine-year-old Madeleine Murray a day before major surgery to fuse her spine and remove the halo rods she's been wearing for a month.

Last minute loan affords life-saving surgery

Saanich's Madeleine Murray, nine, is now recovering from surgery for collapsed neck and curvature of the spine in Florida

A last minute loan has afforded the Murray family to go ahead with a life-altering surgery to remedy a collapsed neck and curvature of the spine for nine-year-old Madeleine.

Despite a highly successful community campaign that raised $195,000 of the $400,000 they’ll need to cover the price of two surgeries and rehabilitation at the Paley Institute, where the Murray family has secured the treatment they believe is Madeleine’s only hope of salvaging a functional, able-bodied life. However, they were dramatically short of the funds needed just days before Madeleine was scheduled for her second surgery.

She is now recovering from the Tuesday surgery, which only happened because a family friend stepped in with a $125,000 loan to cover the costs, said Saanich’s Dan Murray, who rejoined his wife Laura and daughter Madeleine in Palm Beach this week.

“Madeleine was supposed to go for her second surgery (Nov. 14) but [wasn’t] able to go because we [were] shy of about $125,000 [Canadian],” Murray said in a series of emails. “We have to pay for the hardware that Madeleine needs before the hospital will allow her spot to be booked.”

The surgery will fuse part of Madeleine’s spine to prevent any further curvature of the spine that is occurring. Madeleine has lived with arthrogryposis since she was born. However, the condition commonly known as clubfoot has presented a different set of problems for Madeleine. She’s had multiple surgeries on her legs and hips since birth, some successful, and some not. This time last year when she had extendable rods inserted her neck, but her neck muscles grew weak and it the rods were unable to correct her curvature of the spine. Instead, her neck collapsed. It created a rare situation with her chin resting on her chest from June of this year until now she went to Florida in early October.

To cover the initial surgery, the Murrays remortgaged their house and cashed in their life insurance policies.

At that point, the Murrays had lost faith in the B.C. health care system with regards to Madeleine’s rare condition. They found a specialist in Florida, Dr. David Feldman, who assured them he had worked successfully with youths who also have this rare condition.

In light of the money shortfall and the critical timing of the surgery (Madeleine has been in halo traction since she arrived there in early October and now needs to have the halos removed) Feldman waved a substantial portion of his fee to make the surgery happen, Murray said.

“They have discounted her second surgery and I think Dr. Feldman has greatly reduced his part as well. The humanitarian side down here for her has been incredible.

“[But] time has caught up to [Madeleine]. She has to go to the next step.”

There has been no MSP funding to date as the Canadian health system has not referred or approved the Murray’s decision. Murray, however, hasn’t lost hope on that front either. In the meantime the family’s Gofundme page https://www.gofundme.com/MadeleinesSurgery is currently at $321,000, which includes $125,000 from the bridge loan.

Just Posted

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read