Xarabank on Good Friday will be dedicated to raising money for Puttinu Cares, which is trying to replicate the success it had providing flats in Sutton with ones which are closer to central London.

The flats are used to host the relatives of patients requiring medical care in the UK.

One patient who has benefitted from Puttinu’s input has been Javen, whose life was turned upside down when he was just six.

“We noticed that he was getting confused, and once did not even recognise his grandparents when they came to visit,” his mother Graziella said.

Tests were carried out the very next day and found a tumour – described by Great Ormond Street Hospital in London as the largest they had ever seen.

The Sutton flats are already full and they are too far from some of the central London hospitals

The ordeal was a real blow to his parents, who had already lost one child.

“Just when we thought that we could not suffer any more, we found this tumour. It was hard. Too hard,” his father Richard said.

The tumour could not be operated on, and required some 20 treatment sessions in Germany on a machine the size of a football ground, the Xarabank team explained, which managed to shrink it.

His condition is now considerably better but he still requires treatment in the hospital in the centre of London.

“There are two problems: the Sutton flats are already full and they are too far from some of the central London hospitals,” Rennie Zerafa, one of the Puttinu founders said.

Javen with his mother Graziella.Javen with his mother Graziella.

“So we very often end up renting flats or rooms in hotels. We want a more long-term solution.”

Corporate donors who pledge €300/500 can have their names displayed in the new flats, while those who pledge €5,000 can have a room named after the company.

During Friday’s programme, one of the people manning the donation phone lines will be Isabelle Bowerman, who has been up to the UK with her visually-impaired son for treatment 140 times – and who is now able to see as a result of the interventions.

Phone numbers are 51802008 for €25 donations and 51902062 for €50 donations while to send a €6.99 sent a text message to 5061893.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us