At 3pm on Friday afternoon, 18 hours before our departure time, I received bad news. The promised community raised funds had not come through. Was the trip to be cancelled because of a deficit of $3320?
I finished the phone call and took a quick walk around our inpatient unit, and talked to some of the staff about the funding problem. One of the nurses asked me what I was going to do. I really had no idea but for some unknown reason I replied to her, “Magic.”
I had 120 minutes to come up with $3320, at a rate of $27.67/min. What to do? What could I do? What was on the line was a dying man’s wish to return home to see his family. This was his final chance to try to get home, he had been trying to get home ever since he had arrived here months ago.
Who could help? Maybe a virtually community of practice? I went online and decided to launch my first ever crowd-funding campaign, asking people to pledge money towards the trip deficit. The original post can be read here. I emailed a link to it to everyone that I knew.
17 minutes later the first pledge came in, then another, then another. Drip by drip the pledges came in. $20, $40, $100, $200. Palliative Care people were keen to help including healthcare staff, administration staff. People from around New Zealand and Australia came to our aid. One of the other patients on the ward caught wind of what was happening and pledged $200 to help his fellow patient get home.
With only five minutes to spare we reached our goal, the trip was going to happen! I went to see our patient and his wife and told them that I would be seeing them early tomorrow morning for our trip back to the Islands.
Island-Man: Far From Home