Loan allows family to move ahead with life-saving surgery

Saanich girl needs surgery for collapsed neck and curvature of the spine

Nine-year-old Madeleine Murray is in halo traction ahead of her spinal fusion surgery at the Paley Institute in Florida.

A last-minute loan has allowed 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 campaign that raised $150,000 of the $400,000 they’ll need to cover the price of two surgeries and rehabilitation at the Paley Institute in Florida, the Murray family was well short of the funds needed just days before Madeleine was scheduled for her second surgery.

Luckily, 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 underwent surgery last week and despite a setback the following day is now recovering, Murray said.

“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 had to pay for the hardware that Madeleine needed before the hospital will allow her spot to be booked. She has a long way to go but she is improving daily.”

The surgery is designed to 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 she had extendable rods inserted her neck, but her neck muscles grew weak and the rods were unable to correct the curvature of her spine. Instead, her neck collapsed. It created a rare situation with her chin resting on her chest from June of this year until she went to Florida in early October.

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

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, though Murray hasn’t lost hope on that front either. In the meantime the family’s Gofundme page ( is currently at $321,000, which includes $125,000 from the bridge loan.



Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read