Little boy's mystery illness

THE Crabtree family of Casino are facing demands for overdue mortgage payments, but this is the least of their worries.

Today four-year-old Blake Crabtree will undergo exploratory surgery in the Brisbane Mater Hospital to try to diagnose a mystery illness which struck the infant down two weeks ago.

“The doctors are baffled,” Blake’s mother, Susan Crabtree, said.

The first sign something was not right came when Mrs Crabtree was unable to wake her son.

When she tried to lift him from his bed he dropped to the floor, his eyes rolling back in his head.

“It was terrifying,” Mrs Crabtree said.

Blake was rushed to the Casino and District Memorial Hospital and from there was taken to the Lismore Base Hospital in a semi-conscious state and hallucinating.

In the weeks since doctors have run a barrage of tests, but are still unable to discover what is wrong with Blake.

“He is not the same little boy,” Mrs Crabtree said.

“He has gone from a beautiful natured boy to a moody, aggressive little man.

“He asked if I still loved him.”

If this wasn’t enough for the family of eight – Blake has five older sisters – he was also diagnosed with a faulty valve in his heart just four weeks earlier.

He is booked in to have corrective surgery next month.

Since discovering the problem with his heart the family have struggled to manage their business, the Lawn Mower Clinic.

“It’s been closed more than it’s been open,” Mrs Crabtree said.

And in the last two weeks Blake has needed around-the-clock care.

“Someone has to be with him 24/7,” Mrs Crabtree said.

“In the daytime he wants me and at night he wants his dad.”

Mrs Crabtree said they were now behind with their mortgage repayments and their lending institution had been ‘ruthless’.

They had to find $9000 or the lending institution would commence foreclosure proceedings, Mrs Crabtree said.

The Hotel Cecil Charity Club, at Casino, is organising a raffle and a dance competition to help the family pay for some of its hefty medical bills.

The raffle will be drawn on Saturday, August 28, at The Hotel Cecil.

A trust fund has also been set up at The Greater Building Society in the name of Blake Crabtree Fundraiser, BSB: 637000 ACC: 717784219.

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