A dejected man fought for his life thousands of miles from home as his family made an urgent plea

A family in Co Down have issued an urgent plea for help after their son was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness thousands of miles from home.

Alan McDonald, 32, is preparing for treatment for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a condition that causes blood clots to form in blood vessels, blocking blood flow to important organs.

Originally from Newcastle, he has lived in New Zealand for three years and his family must pay for treatment to stabilize him before he can be brought home safely.

Treatment costs tens of thousands in New Zealand.

His sister Anna, 30, told Belfast Live: “Alan hadn’t been feeling well for a few months but had no chance of getting any answers as to why.

“He was undergoing tests in hospital, being seen by various medical specialists and like older brothers and sons do, hiding a lot of worrying details from us at home.

“His condition started to deteriorate very rapidly in early March with his medical team now working on a diagnosis of this extremely rare condition called aHUS. He is so weak and needs to get treatment to fight it as soon as possible.

“If Alan was at home, he would receive NHS treatment. But he’s not well enough to leave the hospital yet and the medication isn’t covered in New Zealand, so we have to fund it ourselves.

“He is the kindest, most loyal and happy person, loved by all who know him. He means everything to us and we will do everything we can to save his life.

Alan lives in Christchurch with his fiancée, Sophie, and was unable to return home due to the pandemic.



Alan McDonald with his family

With New Zealand’s borders still closed to visitors, his parents, Geraldine and Davy, and his sister Anna cannot reach him.

They are desperate to raise the necessary funds to get him treatment and bring him back to Newcastle safely.

Anna said: “My family has struggled to get through each day this week, but the support we have received over the past 24 hours has been overwhelming and has given us the boost we need to keep going.

“We were able to speak to Alan last night and tell him how everyone at home is rallying behind him. He was speechless. Although we couldn’t be by his side or hold his hand, he knows we are with him in spirit every step of the way.” the way.”

To donate to the fundraiser, visit this link.

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