Jonathan Adam Oldroyd of Ottawa, pictured here with his 14-month-old child, is waiting for a double lung transplant. His sister, Campbell River resident Erin Stone, has launched a fundraiser to support the family. Photo courtesy Erin Stone

Campbell River woman launches GoFundMe for brother awaiting double lung transplant

Man with chronic lung disease facing high rent in Toronto ahead of surgery

Local resident Erin Stone, a familiar face for patrons of coffee shop around town, is asking for support as her brother awaits a double lung transplant.

She launched a GoFundMe this week to raise $10,000 for Jonathan Oldroyd, 34, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which causes him to struggle with breathing. Stone said that Oldroyd is on oxygen 24 hours a day.

“Just last weekend he was hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning, for no other reason than he was unable expel the right amount of oxygen,” Stone said. “It’s getting a little critical, and they’re thinking the lung transplant’s going to have to happen in the next three to four months.”

Oldroyd lives in Ottawa with his fiancée and their 14-month-old child, but he needs relocate to the Greater Toronto Area – the site of a specialized hospital where the transplant will take place – to be ready when a new set of lungs becomes available, Stone said.

He will also have to remain in Toronto during the critical recovery stage, Stone said.

High rental costs in the Greater Toronto Area add to the difficulties of the family, since Oldroyd has been unable to work for the past three years, she said.

The family has estimated that costs for accommodations will range from $2,000 to $3,000 a month. Stone said they’re hoping to have Oldroyd stay in Toronto for three months, along with his mother – who suffers from a similar condition – and his father, who will help care for them.

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Oldroyd’s partner Amanda VanNeste plans to stay in Ottawa to work and take care of their child, Stone said. Oldroyd has been unable to work for the past three years.

“It’s unrealistic to move the whole family,” Stone said.

She said that all money raised will go towards Oldroyd and his family, to provide them with some economic security after the surgery, and to help offset the costs of housing in Toronto.

“He’s just so worried about his family,” she said. “I just think this could take a huge burden off of him.”

The campaign, launched on Monday, had raised $1,300 by Wednesday afternoon. The show of support is helping Oldroyd’s morale, Stone said.

“It just feels like he has some spark back,” she said. “He’s just so amazed that people care about him, and I knew they would.”

Readers can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/jonnys-double-lung-transplant.

Stone is likely well-known among coffee drinkers around town. She works at a local Starbucks as a barista and shift supervisor, served coffee all summer at Saratoga Speedway, and previously worked at FoggDukkers Coffee on the South Island Highway.

She encouraged people to sign up as organ donors, saying it only takes about a minute to check that you’re registered. B.C. residents can register or check their status online at https://register.transplant.bc.ca.