Funds drive begins for stricken three-year-old

By Abigail Hartevelt of The Daily Post -
Young Elliott Crimp is lucky to be alive after a near-fatal brush with the deadly meningococcal C. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Young Elliott Crimp is lucky to be alive after a near-fatal brush with the deadly meningococcal C. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

The Rotorua community is raising funds for the family of 3-year-old Elliott Crimp who is in Starship children's hospital with meningococcal C.

Elliott was diagnosed at the end of last month and has been in Starship since.

He is likely to lose parts of three fingers and some of his toes and will have to have skin grafts.

His mother, Kushla, is staying in Ronald McDonald House and Elliott's older brothers Ian, 6, and Angus, 5, were expected to join her next week. Elliott's father, James, works in the mines in Australia and was able to fly back to New Zealand for only two weeks.

Elliott goes to Rotorua East Kindergarten and several parents with children there are pitching in to help.

Melanie Richardson and Ali Bruns have started collecting money and Heidi Blackmore has set up a bank account.

They will send any money donated to Mrs Crimp to help pay for any costs the family incur while in Auckland.

Mrs Bruns said they were also putting together a care package to send to Elliott and getting parents to donate baking which could be sent to the family.

"You have got to do what you can to help,'' she said. "Whatever comes in we will make sure the family gets it.''

Mrs Bruns said she was a frequent user of Starship as her son suffered from neurofibromatosis, which involves the nerve tissue growing tumours that may be benign or may cause serious damage by compressing nerves and other tissues.

Mrs Bruns said she had visited Elliott in hospital.

"It's heartbreaking to see what the disease [meningococcal C] can do.''

She said there were many costs associated with being in Starship including food and day-to-day items.

Mrs Richardson is a friend of Mrs Crimp's and said it was nice to support someone in the community.

She wanted to see Elliott return to his "cheeky and full-of-life'' self.

Meanwhile Swimsation swim school at Rotorua's Aquatic Centre has set up a donation box and has so far collected more than $200 for the Crimp family.

All three of the Crimp boys had been part of the Swimsation programme and the school's co-ordinator, Katrina Allen, said it would keep the donation box out for another few weeks.

"He is such a brave boy ... We wanted to go out of our way to help [the family] in any way we can,'' Mrs Allen said.

Mrs Crimp said she had not cried very often during the weeks since her son was diagnosed with meningococcal C but it was generosity of those from the kindergarten and Swimsation that made her cry.

"It's really overwhelming. It's so nice.''

People can donate to the Elliott Duncan Crimp Fund at BNZ. The bank account number is 02-0412-0109440-66.

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