How St John Vianney’s Principal Challenges Community To Raise Funds For Student Needing Help

Katherine McKay, principal at St John Vianney’s Primary School in Manly, is a proud New South Wales supporter but she did not mind putting on a Maroons jersey during Game 3 of the State of Origin series, for a great cause.

Read: Manly West Mum Shares Life-Saving Experience with Royal Flying Doctor Service

Mrs McKay challenged the school community to raise more than $5,000 for the medical treatment of Lachlan or simply ‘Lachie,’ a Year 5 student who was diagnosed with a series of medical conditions including Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy. 

Lachie’s condition caused him to have stiff, tight muscles in all four limbs, but worse in his legs. Whilst he’s receiving treatment and therapies for his condition, his muscles are continuing to tighten.

st john vianney
Photo credit: St John Vianney’s Manly/Facebook

The school succeeded with this cause and was able to raise $20,000, which will assist with surgery to help Lachie stand and walk and prevent pain associated with muscle tightness.

“Lachie is such an important part of our school community, he brings joy everywhere he goes.  I am so proud of our students who have come together to support a fellow student receive SPML surgery, a life changing operation for one of our much-loved students,” Mrs McKay said.

The NSW-born principal proudly traded her Blues jersey for Game 3 of the State of Origin, which took place on 13 July at the Suncorp Stadium.

Lachie himself loves Rugby League, and one day, hopes to kick a football like his hero, Jonathan Thurston.

jonathan thurston
Photo credit:

Lachie’s family, especially his parents Nigel and Victoria, thanked  the St John Vianney’s Primary School community for their generosity in supporting their son.

All donations will help fund Lachie’s SPML (Selective Percutaneous Myofascia Lengthening) Surgery, a minimally invasive and non-traditional operation, which they are aiming to undertake this September.

Dr. David A. Yngve, one of two pediatric orthopedic surgeons who are regularly doing SPML in the United States, called Lachie’s mum and said he can help them. His family quickly jumped at the opportunity and launched their fundraising efforts via GoFundMe so that Lachie could receive a life-changing surgery.

You can learn more about Lachie’s story by visiting