The Dungannon community has united to help the family of a seriously ill Polish toddler raise enough money for a life-saving operation for the child.
Little Pawel Sliwa, who is almost two, needs surgery to fix a heart problem and the procedure would be carried out in Germany if the family manage to raise around £29,000.
Dungannon man, Brian Boyle, learned of the plight of the sick child after forging friendships with members of the Polish community living in the town.
He told the TIMES: “Friends of ours who are now living in Dungannon told us about Pawel and how the family, who are living in Poland, have to take him to Germany for this operation.
“We have arranged a fundraising event at An Seansiopa in Lisnahull, where we will have a coffee evening and around 60 prizes to be won.
“I was able to collect the prizes by going around the local businesses in the town and I would like to say a big thank you to all those who have been very supportive.”
A special Facebook page has also been set up by friends of the Polish family living in Dungannon.
A spokesperson for the page, Polacy Dungannon, explaine: “Everything started about 2-3 weeks ago. Parent of baby Pawel sent to us (Polacy Dungannon- Polish community on Facebook) message with question-can we help them because they have not enough money for an operation.
“In February this year we helped a child from Poland with this same problem. We raised about 3.000 pounds. That’s how Pawel’s parent heard about us because we put everything on Facebook.
“Last time Brian Boyle helped me to find a place for coffe morning and jumble sale and this time I also asked him first. He is a wonderful person and he didn’t only help me to get again Sean Siopa, he also helped me to get prizes and donations for our auction. I hope that we will help to save this little heart.”
The fundraising event will take place at An Seansiopa in Lisnahull at 1pm on Sunday and everyone is welcome. As well as a coffee morning, a draw will take place and children can have their photos taken with characters including Anna and Elsa from Frozen.
Members of the public can also make a donation to the fundraising campaign or find out more information about Pawel and his condition by logging on to Facebook.com/PolacyDungannon