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Cody needs your help to fight illness

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Little Cody Grennan

Little Cody Grennan

Cody's parents Johnny Grennan and Pinja Koskinen

Cody's parents Johnny Grennan and Pinja Koskinen

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Little Cody Grennan

A fundraising effort is underway to help the family of Cody Grennan, a 10-month-old baby with a rare illness.

Cody is the son of Spain-based Sligo musician Johnny Grennan and Finland native Pinja Koskinen, and has undergone a number of surgeries to deal with complex issues that affect his breathing.

Soon after the birth of Cody last September in Torrevieja on the Spanish coast, it became evident to Cody's parents and doctors that he was struggling to breathe - it soon transpired after a number of scans that his trachea was almost non-existant.

This condition has been described as incredibly rare, and later this year, Cody will undergo another surgery which will attempt to reconstruct part of the trachea.

The conditions that Cody has been officially diagnosed with include Esophageal Atresia, Subglottic Stenosis, Tracheamalacia and Tracheostomy.

With three surgeries in the early part of his life, Cody's journey has been turbulent and it has been further complicated for the family by the fact that Johnny has been unable to work full-time. In an effort to help with costs, a GoFundMe page has been set up.

Caroline Monaghan, a native of Boyle, is one of those involved and says that while the family were a little apprehensive about raising funds, it has been a wonderful success so far since first going live last Sunday week.

One of the triggers for Caroline to mention the possibility of setting up a GoFundMe page again, having previously been floated, came when she heard that Johnny, a talented musician, was planning to sell some of his much-cherished and needed equipment.

"Johnny, we're always in touch with him," Caroline told The Sligo Champion.

"He rang me last week, and he was going auctioning off his music gear. I had spoken to them before about a GoFundMe page - they were a bit unsure about it and they didn't want people to think they were stuck. So I just went ahead and set it up, but I didn't send it out.

"Myself and Johnny had a good chat last Sunday and I told him that it is set up, all I have to do is send - I told him you just tell me when. So we said we'd send it and put it out there."

The reaction to the campaign has been huge. In little over a week, the page received over thirty thousand euro in donations from all over the globe.

The support has been greatly appreciated by the family, and Caroline says they have been staggered by the reach and response the fundraising drive has had.

"Within minutes of going up, the money started to come in," Caroline explained.

"Johnny's friends did a gig in Spain too to help out.

"It has been fantastic - just unreal. When it started we would have thought that five thousand would have been good. Part of it is that Cody's illness is so uncommon. He is such a lovely lad but this illness is so uncommon."

The money raised will be of significant assistance to Johnny and Pinja as they continue to care for Cody ahead of his next surgery later this year.

The need for specialist care is one element of the unique situation the family find themselves in but Cody continues to fight and, as the GoFundMe page says, does all the things a healthy baby can. "In thta way, Cody is no different," the post says "but our wee boy struggles to breath and his struggle goes on."

Caroline continues: "The funds will mainly go towards Cody and what he needs. They are not sure yet if he will need nursing care - but he will need 24-hour care until he is back in hospital in October or November. It takes two to look after him sometimes. We've set a 50 thousand goal now and we're already at over 36 thousand." For more information, and a chance to support the cause, find Cody Grennan (Cody's Giggles) on GoFundMe.

Sligo Champion