A Strandfontein family has started a crowd-funding page for their son after he contracted a rare disease while taking a gap year in America.

Cape Town - A Strandfontein family has started a crowd-funding page for their son after he contracted a rare disease while taking a gap year in America.

Michael Kammies, 21, loves travelling but his family’s worst fears came true when they learnt he had been hospitalised in New York after being diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis.

The disease is an inflammation of the brain cells, often due to infection, and has various neurological and psychiatric symptoms which may include impaired memory and cognition, abnormal movements, seizures and problems with balance, speech, or vision.

Michael has been in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit for the last four weeks at Winthrop University Hospital in Long Island, where he was placed into an induced coma.

His family now needs help paying his medical bills and to bring him home.

Michael has been in the USA for over a year and was due to return home in August.

His sister, Melissa Kammies, started a crowd-funding page on Backabuddy to raise R150 000.

“The funds raised will be used for medical treatments, after hospital care, a flight back to South Africa, and his physical rehabilitation,” Melissa said.

“We urgently need to raise funds by 31 July 2019. All donations will help Michael get all the care he requires in order to be able to live a normal life again.”

Michael’s parents are currently in New York with him.

It’s understood doctors are starting the process of bringing him out of the induced coma.

Residents of Strandfontein have rallied behind the family and have started a fundraising initiative at the Strandfontein sports field.

Every Saturday at 8am, people can come “Run, Walk or Crawl for Michael Kammies”, and donate anything from R10 upwards.

Supporters are asked to check in for the event at 7.45am sharp.

If you would like to assist the Kammies family, you can donate on www.backabuddy.co.za/michael-kammies

Daily Voice