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Valentine flowers for N.Z. teacher’s hospital bill

The Daegu community is to help raise cash to pay an English teacher’s bill for life-saving surgery by selling Valentine’s Day flowers.

The “Artists and Flowers,” shop in Siji, Daegu, has offered to donate 10 percent of its Valentine’s Day flower sales to a nationwide fund-raising campaign that has already collected more than 27 million won for Mick Milne.

Milne, an English teacher from New Zealand, suffered a failed liver in October and had a live organ transplant in December after spending weeks in intensive care at Pusan University Hospital. The five-year resident of Miryang in South Gyeongsang Province needed $50,000 to cover the successful operation and other expenses because his Korean National Health Insurance only covered some of his medical costs.

But friends and strangers including Koreans and expats throughout the country campaigned to raise the cash to support his surgery through Facebook, blogs and various fund-raising events. Soon, the movement not only spread to Milne’s home country to bring donations from New Zealand, but also to fund-raisers’ friends and families all over the world.

Milne’s recovery is expected to take up to twelve months, during which time he is unlikely to be able to work. With some medical bills still outstanding, Milne’s friends and family are continuing their work to raise more cash.

The Valentine’s Day flower sales are the latest effort to support him by Daegu Volunteers and Artists and Flowers in Siji. Exquisitely arranged flowers are available for those looking to show their affection on Feb. 14. Hand-held bouquets start at 20,000 won, while baskets are priced from 50,000 won. A percentage of revenue raised from orders received by Feb. 12 will go to Milne.

To see the flowers go to http://blog.naver.com/floristbomi.

By John Lee (jlee17@heraldcorp.com)
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