Renowned brain surgeon agrees to put Jackson's bill on hold
CASINO cancer patient Jackson Byrnes' mother Rhonda Byrnes has shared how an upfront $45,000 hospital fee for his surgery was funded by direct deposits into his bank account.
The family flew back home on Saturday, emotionally drained, but optimistic about the future.
While a GoFundMe campaign raised more than $90,000, the money could not be immediately accessed by the family due to a "technicality" in the website's policy.
Instead they had to rely on the direct donations from the community, including deposits put directly into his bank account and money raised through various fundraising events.
This allowed for the hospital fee to be paid.
However the family also has yet to pay Dr Charlie Teo and his team, who have agreed to wait until the money becomes available through the website.
Leftover money raised through GoFundMe will be used tor Jackson's rehabilitation bills and ongoing medical costs.
Ms Byrnes said she was amazed at the generosity of people in the community.
Donations came from far afield, with people in New York and England hearing about the story and opening their wallets to save Jackson's life, as well as North Coast residents from Coffs Harbour to Tweed.
During the operation, brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo was able to remove 90% of the aggressive tumour which was the size of a tennis ball.
"The physio team couldn't believe the way he came out of it," Ms Byrnes said.
"He was pretty much straight up and out of bed.
"He's walking with a little bit of help, and I don't think it will take much to get that strength back."
But Jackson's journey is far from over.
To target the remaining tumour chemotherapy and radiation will commence almost immediately. Then comes a waiting game.
"I know he's got a long journey ahead, this is not the end of it," Ms Byrnes said.
"We'll just take one step at a time." But she said the family was determined to do whatever they could to ensure her son's health.
"Dr Teo said it could give him an extra 17 years, I'm hoping it will give him an extra 30 years."