KIND-HEARTED: Top Hat Tony has raised $100,000 for Heart Kids.
KIND-HEARTED: Top Hat Tony has raised $100,000 for Heart Kids. Vicki Wood

Fundraiser Tony claims hospital bypass over tattoos

TOP Hat Tony Moroney never thought the tattoos that cover his entire body would prevent him getting hospital treatment.

But in a cruel twist of fate, Tony himself is now suffering from heart problems after the Woodford resident recently reached his goal of raising $100,000 for Heart Kids.

"I flat-lined four times on the way to hospital the last time I went," Tony said.

"I just wish Queensland Health would do something for me now."

The 50-year-old said his appearance resulted in him receiving minimal treatment.

"All the ECGs got handed to the doctors and went straight in the bin because of VLAD laws because I look like a bikie," he said.

Tony was then sent home to recover.

"The cardiologist said 'there's nothing I can do, go back to your own doctor'," he said.

A spokesperson for Metro North Hospital and Health Service said patients were never turned away if requiring treatment.

"No patient requiring medical attention is ever turned away or refused treatment at any of our hospitals or facilities.

"Patients are treated on the basis of the urgency of their presenting medical condition."

When asked if he regretted raising money for others given his current condition, Tony was adamant he had no regrets.

"What future has the world got if there are no kids?" he said.

"I've had a life, I'm 50 years old now.

"These little guys don't even get a chance, they're behind the eight ball before they even start their life.

Despite his recent health issues, Tony said it hadn't stopped his fundraising efforts.

Tony started fundraising back in 2010 after meeting a Heart Kid called Benji and his mum Melissa.

Since then he has dedicated most of his time to rattling his tin to raise funds.

"I can't work because I'm a full-time carer for my wife so I thought I have to help these guys."

Melissa said that Tony's work had made a huge difference.

"One hundred thousand dollars is huge for an organisation like Heart Kids," she said.

"We have support workers in the hospital that we've been able to expand from two half-days when Tony first started fundraising to now operating six days a week."

Tony said he was surprised to reach his goal due to the negativity surrounding his looks.

"Because I'm covered in tattoos people think I must be some sort of scum, and that's the way I get treated."

Throughout all of the adversity Tony said watching the kids grow up healthy made it all worth it.

"I'd like to thank the Woodford community because 90% of the money has come from them and a lot has come from the biker and tattoo community."

Tony urged people to continue giving.

"The more I can get for Heart Kids the better and if people keep donating then it's absolutely brilliant."



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