Bout of charity helps liver boy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 July, 2006, 12:00am

A group of boxing enthusiasts yesterday made good on their promise to make a donation to Louie Adrielle Perez, the seven-year-old Filipino boy needing a life-saving liver transplant, it can now be revealed.

The nine friends - all expatriates - had paid $5,000 each to watch the July 2 match between Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Mexico's Oscar Larios in Quezon City in the Philippines. Pacquaio retained his WBC International super featherweight title.

Last Thursday the Post ran a report on Louie, who had needed at least $300,000 in order to meet a $1 million deposit for the liver transplant at Queen Mary Hospital.

Louie was born with biliary atresia, an absence or closure of ducts that drain bile from the liver. A remedial operation performed when Louie was three months old began failing two years ago.

When the friends read about the boy's plight, one of them donated $100,000 and asked his friends to give as well.

The expatriate, who asked to remain anonymous, said: 'I said to them, 'If you were prepared to pay $5,000 for a boxing match, surely you are prepared to help a dying seven-year-old boy with a severe liver problem'.

'The last cheque is coming to you this morning,' he added. Sure enough, a cheque for $2,500 was sent to the Post. The band of nine altogether gave $154,400 for Louie.

This came as Louie's father, Ernanie Perez - who is a potential donor - underwent a successful liver biopsy yesterday and was discharged from hospital.

'The results will be known today,' said Lo Chung-mau, chair professor of hepatobiliary surgery at the University of Hong Kong.

The expatriate's $100,000 donation last Thursday also set off a deluge of readers' donations. By Tuesday, 18 readers had sent money to SCMP Charities totalling $169,600 for Louie's transplant deposit. Another $271,400 from readers who sent cheques paid to the Hospital Authority has been deposited to Louie's account with Queen Mary. The Post stopped accepting donations at the close of business yesterday.