’I nearly fainted’: Stunning response to boy’s birthday plea
BIRTHDAY parties are a huge deal when you're about to turn seven and secretly hoping for a visit from Spider-Man, like Tkay Trajkovski is.
And if anyone deserves a surprise it's Tkay. He's had a heartbreaking start to life with the death of his mother Mia at the hands of a drunken driver in Korea when he was just three months old.
Mia was visiting her parents in Korea to show off her newborn son and to attend a family wedding when her car was stuck. Tkay was in the car with his mother but miraculously survived the accident unscathed.
Then in February last year his father died in the Sydney home they shared. Tragically it was Tkay, who was just five at the time, who found his father dead in his bed and had to walk next door to alert his neighbours.
But despite his sad past, Tkay's future is looking bright now he is living with this 68-year-old grandmother Lidia Kobal, who was born in Macedonia but has lived on the Gold Coast for the past 25 years.
"When they (police) told me there was an accident with my son Nik and I asked if he was alive and they said 'no', it was like somebody had cut off my legs,'' Mrs Kobal said.
"The worst thing that can happen is for a mother to lose a child. It's the worst thing in the entire world. I miss him so much.
"But now I have Tkay I love him so much and want to teach him many things in life.
"Nik lives on in Tkay and I have a picture of both Nik and Mia at their wedding alongside a candle and a cross and every time I sit down I just look at the both of them."
Mrs Kobal, whose mother died when she was just 11, was desperate for Tkay's birthday celebration - the first on the Gold Coast for him - to be special so asked 30 school friends to a party in a park on March 8. Among the children was Amity, daughter of Christine Tobia-Philip.
"I could see Lidia worrying about the party. Both she and Tkay have gone through so much grief that my heart just ached," said Mrs Tobia-Philip.
"Then I thought, what if I could get a community of kindness involved? That's when I thought of a group I was a member of called Gold Coast Girls in Business."
Within minutes of posting a request for help on the group's page, she was inundated with offers of help.
"It was so beautiful and heartwarming to see hundreds of women who run their own businesses giving up their time, skills and money to help strangers," she said.
To date she has received invitations, a party planner, party games, a cake, decorations, party bags, tableware, personalised lollies, cupcakes, a piñata, dessert, drinks, food and a venue.
"I even have a Spider-Man costume, just no one to wear it,'' she said.
"And I have tables and chairs but no delivery or pick up."
Women have also offered swimming lessons, beauty and hair treatments, crisis support services, an art workshop and cleaning.
Overwhelmed by the generosity, Mrs Kobal said no one had ever helped her in such a way before so to be offered so much was "amazing".
"When Christine told me I didn't need to lift a finger I nearly fainted,'' she said.
"I can't believe this, it's never happened for me in my entire life. I don't feel comfortable asking people to do things so I just do it myself.
"I've just changed my front screen door and changed the locks because it was falling apart and after they rendered my house I painted the entire building by myself.''
Despite her age and a few niggling health problems, Mrs Kobal and Tkay frequently visit the park and the beach, and she makes sure her grandchild never goes without.
The pensioner admitted it was exhausting chasing around an active boy who is soon to be seven, but it kept her moving and "was better than being alone".
Mrs Tobia-Philip added that all the offers of support came before any media involvement.
"Lidia is a woman of strength and compassion but now she is not alone. We as a community are here for her and this amazing young boy. And any help to make their lives easier, not just now but in the future, would be wonderful."