The Dungannon community has united to help the family of a seriously ill Polish toddler raise enough money for a life-saving operation for the child.
Little Pawel Sliwa, who is almost two, needs surgery to fix a heart problem and the procedure would be carried out in Germany if the family manage to raise around £29,000.
Dungannon man, Brian Boyle, learned of the sick child’s plight after forging friendships with members of the Polish community in the town.
He told the Times: “Friends of ours who are now living in Dungannon told us about Pawel and how the family, who are living in Poland, have to take him to Germany for this operation.
“We have arranged a fundraising event at An Seansiopa in Lisnahull, where we will have a coffee evening and around 60 prizes to be won.
“I was able to collect the prizes by going around the local businesses in the town and I would like to say a big thank you to all those who have been very supportive.”
A special Facebook page has also been set up by friends of the Polish family living in Dungannon.
A spokesperson for the page Polacy Dungannon, little Pawel’s parents contacted them two or three weeks ago asking if they could help raise funds for his much-needed operation.
“In February this year we helped a child from Poland with this same problem,” they explained. “We raised about £3,000. That’s how Pawel’s parent heard about us, because we put everything on Facebook.
“Last time Brian Boyle helped me to find a place for coffee morning and jumble sale and this time I also asked him first. He is a wonderful person and he didn’t only help me to get again Sean Siopa, he also helped me to get prizes and donations for our auction.
“I hope that we will help to save this little heart.”
The fundraising event is due to take place in Lisnahull today [Sunday] and has been well supported by the local community.
Members of the public can still make a donation to the fundraising campaign or find out more information about Pawel and his condition by logging on to Facebook.com/PolacyDungannon
The little boy’s parents also post regular updates on their son’s condition via Facebook.
Their information and photo page can be accessed by logging on to the main Facebook we page and searching Uratuj moje serce-Paweł Franek Śliwa