Krystal Tanner

Krystal Tanner says she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support after she went public with her son's story. (CBC)

The family of Balin Vergunst, whose family went into debt to provide him with sight-saving surgery not covered by Ontario's health-care plan, say they have been amazed at the reaction to the boy's story after it was told by Go Public.

The 13-year-old had been told he'd have to go blind before OHIP would pay for surgery. He suffered from keratoconus, a deterioration of the cornea, fixable with a procedure called corneal collagen cross-linking which is not covered by OHIP.  

An engineer in Brampton, Ont., who wants to remain anonymous, contacted the CBC offering to pay the cost of the surgery. Local businesses in Rockland, where they live, also want to help the family. 

Vergunst's mother, Krystal Tanner, said there has been a lot of positive reaction.  

She said her phone has been ringing constantly.

Balin Vergunst

Balin Vergunst's cornea became conical because of an eye disease known as keratoconus. At school, he couldn't see writing on the board or paper and had to give up sports. Corneal collagen cross-linking surgery fixes that, but the family had to pay for it because OHIP wouldn't. (Krystal Tanner)

"People are commenting how crazy this is ... that the government doesn't cover this. This is ... showing our our health-care system at its finest so to speak," Tanner said.

"People are asking how they can help. It shows you there are still a lot of good people out there and people who care."

"I  want to say thank you. It's very generous and very kind. I'm very overwhelmed [by] the outpouring of support and concern and  really all we were trying to do was raise awareness for families in the same situation."