Ramsay's charity girl ill

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

Matisse has had two operations in two days at Pittsburgh hospital. Photo / Supplied
Matisse has had two operations in two days at Pittsburgh hospital. Photo / Supplied

Napier 9-year-old Matisse Reid - the girl who can't eat - was yesterday in a bad way in a Pittsburgh hospital after undergoing two surgeries in the past few days to correct a rare intestinal condition.

The girl at the centre of a business dispute between a Kiwi events company and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay had a small and large intestine transplant this week.

Her mother Jodee Reid said yesterday her daughter had had a bad night.

"She had a lot of bleeding so the surgeons had to go back in and find the source of bleeding," she said.

"So she hasn't been very good at all. She is heavily sedated and will probably remain sedated for the rest of the weekend. It's been a long night."

Two surgeries in a week would make the recovery slow and the family was taking things hour-by-hour.

Jodee's husband Wayne had been sick so she had been at the hospital with Matisse alone. "We are juggling things the best we can."

She hoped Matisse would be out of intensive care by Christmas but a full recovery was more than a year away.

When she was well Matisse wanted to eat seafood but Jodee said without the operation, it was impossible.

"She has tried food but what happens is she swallows a teaspoon of food and it goes into her stomach. In 10 minutes she will double over in serious pain and we have to syringe it out of a tube in her stomach. But sometimes she can't help herself."

The donor organs had come from an unidentified Texan 10-year-old. Jodee pledged to write to the family eventually.

Ramsay had been due to speak at two New Zealand dinners, in June and then in October, to raise money for Matisse's charity, Chance2eat.

However, he pulled out twice at the last minute and is being sued for about $2 million by Duco Events, which filed papers in the High Court a week ago.

The Herald on Sunday has confirmed that Ramsay has been in touch with Matisse's family to wish her the best, and it was confirmed he had donated $20,000 towards her treatment.

Jodee said she had suspected a Ramsay donation and was "a bit embarrassed it has been about us when it really isn't".

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Ramsay, Jo Livingston, did not want to comment on the legal action, though said they would defend it.

A key point appeared to be whether Ramsay's mother, Helen, had suffered a heart attack, forcing Ramsay away from the first gig in June.

"I think everyone would understand if it was your mother who had been hospitalised and she had been released - you would want to be at home," said Livingston.

- Herald on Sunday

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