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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Raising funds for Safi’s life-changing operation

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Paul Bibby

The parents of a nine-month-old baby with a rare congenital birth defect have launched a Go Fund Me fundraising campaign to help him get much-needed surgery in the US.

Baby Safi with parents Tashy Folkwell and Tal Silver. Image Jeff Dawson

Safi was born with a severe case of hypospadias and chordee, conditions which will significantly affect his future sexual health and well-being, and his ability to have children if not treated effectively. 

They can also cause abnormal and painful urination.

The severity of Safi’s case means that he will require two or possibly three highly specialised surgeries to reconstruct his penis.

His parents Tashy Folkwell and Tal Silver say Australia lacks the medical expertise to provide effective care.

‘The average certified paediatric urologist in Australia only repairs around two severe cases each year, with a 30 per cent success rate,’ said Ms Folkwell, who lives with her family in Sunrise.

‘After doing our own research, we came across the Hypospadias Specialty Center, located near Dallas, Texas.

‘It’s one of the only practices in the world dedicated to hypospadias care, and has a success rate of 90 per cent with severe cases like Safi’s’. 

But repeatedly flying to and from the US for multiple surgeries, which must take place a minimum of six months apart, isn’t going to be cheap. 

The total cost of surgery and travel expenses for each trip to America will be around $63,000. For more info visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-little-safi-receive-the-surgery-he-needs. 

Private donations can also be made via [email protected] 

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