ELI Whittaker went from being a fun-loving, happy kid, to a lethargic and miserable 11-year-old, and his mother believes the lack of regional health services is to blame.
Three years ago Eli began to suffer chronic gastrointestinal issues which cause severe acid reflux, tummy aches, nausea and vomiting.
But despite the ongoing symptoms, Eli's mother Jade Whittaker, said they had never been given a diagnosis.
"We've had blood tests, ultrasounds, breath tests and brain MRI's, the final step is going in and doing scopes and biopsies of the tissue," Ms Whittaker said.
Eli has been on the public health system waiting list for 12 months for these final tests, and has recently been told it could be another year until he is admitted.
"In that time, Eli has had quite severe flare ups, probably the worst he's ever had," Ms Whittaker said.
"It's been really upsetting and frustrating to see your child so unwell, he's struggling in every aspect of his life now and his fate is in the public health system and their timeline. As a parent, I feel helpless."
Due to his condition, Ms Whittaker said Eli had lost the "light in his eyes and his happy smile" and is constantly missing out on learning and time with friends at Kootingal Public School.
"Prior to the last three years he was very, very active, just watching him would exhaust me, that's how high his energy levels were," she said.
"Now he's on a very bland diet... he's very limited with what he can eat simply because it causes so much upset."
With Eli's health deteriorating the family has looked to the private sector to fast-track the urgent need for a gastroscopy and colonoscopy, which can be carried out in just one month.
But with the closest paediatric gastroenterologist located in Sydney, getting Eli there is causing financial headaches.
"The big expenses come from being able to have this done by a private surgeon in a private hospital," Ms Whittaker said.
"Then the travel on top of that and the accommodation."
To help fund the trip to Sydney a bake sale is being held on Sunday June 5, at Dr Giradi's Practice at 24 Dean Street at 11am.
For a cash donation, cupcakes, slices, scones, biscuits and brownies will be on offer to assist Eli in getting the diagnostic surgery.
"Without having these biopsies done we don't know what's causing this upset, so then we can't treat it and he just keeps being sick over and over and over," Ms Whittaker said.
While the main aim of sharing Eli's story was to get him to Sydney, Ms Whittaker said she hoped the family's experience would help shine a light on the lack of health services in regional areas.
"Sydney is six hours travel and if you aren't in a financial position to fund these tests and fund these surgeries then the sick people they just get sicker," she said.
"It seems to be a vicious cycle."
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