Telethon 2023: Spud King Tony Galati donates a huge $318k after granddaughter’s frightening health battle

Elise Van AkenThe West Australian
VideoSusannah Carr received a $218,000 cheque from the Spudshed Group, and another $100,000 donation from Tony and Frankie Galati's family as they detailed their personal connection to Telethon.

Perth’s favourite potato farmer has shown up again for our sick kids and dug deep to make not one, but two massive donations to Telethon.

Channel 7’s Susannah Carr was presented with not only a $218,000 cheque from the Spudshed Group by ‘Spud King’ Tony Galati, but also a $100,000 donation from the Galati family presented by his granddaughter Freya, 7.

The family has been big donors to the foundation each year, but this time a personal connection to Telethon spurred their generosity.

Freya was rushed to Perth Children’s Hospital last month and admitted to ICU when she slipped into a coma, with dedicated health staff treating her then undiagnosed type one juvenile diabetes.

“It was a big shock to us and really brought it home,” Mr Galati told Susannah. “We must look after the sick kids and help if you can, like we do every year.”

“It was a really scary experience when it all happened. . . it was a midnight rush to the hospital and we didn’t know what was wrong with her and what was happening,” Freya’s father Frankie Galati said.

“The nurses at the hospital were great, they did a great job at Perth Children’s Hospital, we really appreciate their hard work. Being in that position. . . it brings us a whole new level of appreciation for it.”

The Spud King’s generosity doesn’t stop when the cameras are off. He also visits PCH at Christmas time and gives the families Spud Shed vouchers.

“It really dawned on us this year we were in the same ward (we visit), when my granddaughter was in,” he said.

To donate, call 1300 737 507 or visit telethon7.com/donate.

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