Tony Sells with Nick and Allison Duggan and their children Dakota, 5, and Jessilee, 8.
Tony Sells with Nick and Allison Duggan and their children Dakota, 5, and Jessilee, 8. Barry Leddicoat

Stranger sends Duggans to States

WHAT do you say to someone who calls up and offers to give you and your family a flight to America that might save your life?

Nick Duggan, of Buderim, has yet to find the words.

Sunshine Coast businessman Tony Sells has bought Mr Duggan, his wife Allison and their two children flights to America for the essential medical treatment he needs after contracting the debilitating disease coccidioidomycosis meningitis.

Mr Sells found out about the Duggans' heart-breaking story from a spur of the moment purchase of the Daily.

The man long known for his generosity could not sit by and do nothing.

He called the couple and requested a meeting and then offered to fly the family to San Francisco on December 1.

Mrs Duggan said she had never heard of Mr Sells, who owns Get Wines Direct, before the surprise phone call.

But once they met she was moved by his genuine compassion.

"He is the most generous, caring and warm person," Mrs Duggan said.

"He could just see how desperately Nick needed help."

Mr Duggan, who owned the popular Duggan's IGA in Maroochydore, had no hope of receiving treatment locally.

He is the only Australian known to have the disease, which he contracted during a quad bike ride in the San Diego Desert in June.

It penetrated his spine and developed in his brain and he faced little chance of a cure.

But thanks to the generosity of Mr Sells and the Sunshine Coast he now has some hope.

Both American and Australian doctors decided his only chance was to receive urgent medical attention from a specialist in America.

The couple sold their business and this weekend their home will go up for auction to help fund the ongoing costs.

Mr Sells will travel with the Duggans to America to make sure they settle in.

"I won't just be going over there and leaving them, I'll help settle them," he said.

Kawana photographic business Studio Republic will be holding a fundraiser for the family on Thursday from 6pm to 9pm.

Tickets are $20 and include drinks on arrival, a live auction and a raffle, with everything raised going to the Duggans.

For more details contact Studio Republic on 54931931.

Donations can also be made to

Mrs Duggan said they had been overwhelmed by the number of people eager to help.

"It's hard to believe and it is very humbling. We've never been on the receiving end before," she said.

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