A concert by musicians of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra raised HK$575,000 for Kenzo Wilson, an 11-year-old boy who is battling leukaemia and lung complication after a bone marrow transplant.
More than 600 people packed the University of Hong Kong's Loke Yew Hall for Sunday night's concert to help the Japanese-British boy, whose father formerly played cello with the orchestra and whose mother plays viola with it.
The audience included family, friends and children from Kenzo's school, who came with their families, while others came after reading of his story in the media. All seats in the hall were full and some had to stand.
"People just wanted to make a difference to Kenzo's life," concertmaster Igor Yuzefovich said. "They came to the concert and they did it."
Including the amount from the concert, more than HK$1 million has been raised so far for Kenzo's treatment. His father, Ron Wilson, expects the funds to be enough to cover medical expenses until the boy receives a lung transplant at the end of next year. He is suffering from bronchiolitis obliterans, an irreversible lung disease.
More good news came yesterday as he was discharged from Queen Mary Hospital having recovered from a lung infection that put him in the intensive care unit last month. "His lungs are still very weak and any small illness like a cough could get him back into the ICU," Wilson said.
Kenzo was happy to be going home, although he still needs oxygen support. He has been receiving a relatively new treatment, extracorporeal photopheresis, in which components of his blood are drawn out, treated with light-sensitive drugs then returned to his body.
He has completed 16 sessions, each costing HK$24,000. His father expects that he will have eight or more sessions.
He also needs physiotherapy to help build his muscles so he can walk again, and various medications that are not subsidised by the government.
Kenzo was in hospital on Sunday night and unable to be at the concert but Wilson said he planned to play a video of it for Kenzo at a small party at home. Wilson thanked all those who supported his son.