SO THE FIRST PART of the Francis Nii Appeal is over. It looks like we raised $7,650 over about seven days in both Papua New Guinea and Australia to assist our ailing colleague.
We needed a short, intense campaign so we could get the equipment identified, ordered and quickly on the move all the way to Sir Joseph Nombri Hospital at Kundiawa up there in the highlands of the Simbu Province.
As well as readers (full list of donors below) willing to dig deep to get Francis out of bed and back on track to full health, we also needed a white knight to fund a proper clinical assessment – a simple step if you live in any of Australia’s capital cities but a costly, logistically challenging medivac for a paraplegic living in the middle of PNG.
Well, life ain’t a fairy tale, so no knight of any colour has emerged so far – but we know these things can take time, the feelers are out, people are sniffing around and we are hopeful some philanthropist might emerge.
There would be some good publicity to be derived from this for the right person or organisation.
The cost of this exercise could be anything up to $20,000 depending on where the assessment was done and what may be involved.
When I said at the top of this piece that the ‘first part’ was over, it was in the full realisation that – even when the equipment has arrived - Francis’s recovery is likely to be a slow and arduous process.
You don’t spend a year confined to bed without collateral issues and Francis and his medical advisers in Kundiawa are going to have to plan and struggle their way through those.
I rather suspect, from what I have gleaned so far about health services in the Simbu, that the bulk of the planning and struggling will be left to Francis.
There is support, of course, from Jimmy Drekore who chair the successful PNG charity, the Simbu Children Foundation, and from businessman Terry Shelley who gets to his old stamping ground in Kundiawa most weeks from his base in Goroka.
The group of people who have been running this little project through PNG Attitude will be staying on the case and we’ll report back from time to time.
With gratitude to these donors: Liz Abel, Anonymous, Tim Ashton, Murray Bladwell, Sil Bolkin, Dan Claasen, Bob Cleland, Marlene Dee, Jimmy Drekore, William Dunlop, Terry Edwinsmith, Jeff Febi, Phil Fitzpatrick, Tony Flynn, Trevor Freestone, Anne Griffin, Geoff Hancock, Lance Hill, Keith Jackson, Peter Kranz, Robin Lillicrap, Allan McKay, Bryan Matthews, Phillip McGibbony, Karen Moore, Rob Parer, Cath Porter, Terry Shelley, Barbara Short, Simbu Children Fund, Terry Trainor, Mal Turnbull, Bob Turner, David Wall, Maureen Wari
You can still contribute here