Family seeks aid for surgery
POSTED: Thursday, February 05, 2009
KIHEI, Maui » They press the back of their hands against the side of their child's neck frequently to check for a fever, watch the color of his eyes and look for signs of bleeding in his stool and urine.
Kokua needed for ailing child
The family of Jharrell Sim welcomes donations in kind for the auction and rummage sale. Please call Celia Arcilla at 205-9926 for pickup.
Rummage/garage sales for Jharrell are tentatively scheduled in Kahului on March 7 at the Kahului Baptist Church's parking lot, and on March 8 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church parking lot. A fundraising dinner and auction is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 9 at the Kihei Community Center.
Monetary donations, which are tax deductible, may be mailed to the Children's Organ Transplant Association, 2501 W. COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403.
Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with "In Honor of Jharrell Sim" written on the memo line of the check. Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforJharrellS.com.
John and Hayde Sim, although full of worry, said they appreciate these moments of caring for their 5-year-old son, Jharrell, and are hoping they will have a few more months with him before he undergoes a precarious liver transplant.
In the meantime they are raising money to pay for the surgery, which will be done at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.
The Children's Organ Transplant Association, a national charity, is assisting in the fundraising for the $65,000 in expenses beyond the family's medical insurance coverage.
John Sim, a hotel maintenance worker, and his wife, a research assistant for an agricultural firm, said they are grateful for the support they have received from their family, relatives, friends, church families, employers and fellow employees during the past several years.
Hayde Sim said they have frequently had to leave work and fly with Jharrell to Oahu, when he is ill, sometimes spending a whole month at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
"Kapiolani is like our second home," she said.
She said Jharrell has no gallbladder, his spleen and liver are enlarged, and his intestine is directly connected to his liver, making him more prone to infections.
"He's been through a lot," she said. "He is trying to be very strong."
She said Jharrell rarely complains about the needles put into his arms to conduct blood analysis, and when the pain is difficult to endure, he begins to sing a church hymn, "He is able ... I know my Lord is able to carry me through."
Jharrell enjoys going to kindergarten but also faces the risk of contracting a virus among his classmates.
He attends kindergarten three times a week so that he has enough time to rest at home, she said.
She said Jharrell will undergo another transplant evaluation on Feb. 27, and they hope they will have more time with him before surgery and time to raise money.
"We are praying it will be delayed, but we don't know how long his body will hold," she said.
She said the family has been raising money through sales of Jello, flan, manapua, vegetarian sandwiches, banana lumpia and other foods.