Family devastated by 'fake' $1.5 million donation for teen's kidney transplant

  • 21/07/2017

A massive donation that easily would have covered the cost of a Canterbury teenager's kidney transplant is looking likely to be a hoax.

The family of Maddie Collins, 13, is devastated the $1.5 million donation - from a woman who said the money would come from a $42 million inheritance fund - may be false.

Last month the Collins were approached on Facebook by a woman offering to cover the cost of Maddie's treatment for kidney failure in the United States.

Since then, plenty of promises to pay have come and gone with nothing but excuses coming from the woman, Maddie's mother Sarah Manson Collins said.

"It's that utter sense of false hope. When we met her we thought all our stresses and worries were gone," she told the Christchurch Star.

"We thought we'll get the transplant, and by next year Maddie will be fighting fit and able to get on with life."

The family visited the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore early last month, where they hope Maddie can get treatment. During the visit they were told the cost had risen from $350,000 to more than $700,000.

A Givealittle page was set up, with about $85,000 raised so far.

Maddie's daily dialysis has put a lot of strain on her heart, putting her at risk of a heart attack - meaning the need to have a kidney transplant has become dire.

With only a 2 percent chance of match in New Zealand, the hope is Maddie can get a kidney match and better treatment in the US.

Her father Adam donated one his kidneys in 2012, but Maddie's body rejected it.