A Manitoba father is looking to help sick kids, one video game at a time after the loss of his own son.
Joey Halldorsson remembers his son Korbin as having a good heart and a love for video games.
Korbin was living with muscular dystrophy, which left him in a wheelchair.
Before passing in October 2021 at the age of 17, Korbin was stuck in the hospital for weeks at a time.
“The pain and suffering in that place sometimes is not spoken about, and how can we make a difference and take that pain and suffering away for just a little while,” said Halldorsson.
He said during Korbin’s stay in the hospital, he bought a TV and set up a PlayStation in his son’s room, allowing him to play his favourite video games like wrestling.
“You set him up on that, and you could actually see him escape in these games. He’s not worried about his muscular dystrophy or the pain he was in,” explained Halldorsson.
The gaming console also let Korbin keep in touch with his friends while in the hospital, giving him some normalcy during a difficult time.
“He could connect to the wifi of it and talk to his peers, you know, his friends,” said Halldorsson. “He didn’t feel alone, and he could talk to his friends when he was in the hospital, and to me, that was huge.”
Seeing the impact video games had on Korbin, Haldorsson is now raising funds to buy portable game console units for the HSC Children’s Hospital in hopes it can bring comfort to other kids in a similar situation to his son’s.
Each unit would include a PlayStation or Xbox, a TV and a cart on wheels, allowing the systems to move room-to-room.
The campaign, called Korbin’s Wish, has already raised $10,000 in just a few days.
The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba said supporting fun opportunities to help kids is always a focus.
“We’re very grateful to community members who keep coming up with ways to support kids while they’re in hospital,” said the foundation in an email.
While Halldorsson said his son would be mad at him for spreading his photos, he knows Korbin would be proud of the initiative.
“It was something very important to him and something very important to me,” said Halldorsson.
The fundraiser is running until February when Halldorsson will purchase parts for the units, each costing around $2,500.
Haldorsson said he’d like to expand Korbin’s Wish next year to include rural and northern children’s hospitals.
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