Boy, 2, dies after father blows $150,000 of crowdfunded money on hookers and drugs
A two-year-old boy suffering with spinal muscular atrophy has died at his home in Brazil, after his father blew at least $150,000 of crowdfunded money on "hookers, liquor, drugs, and hotels", the Daily Mail has reported.
João Miguel Alves passed away October 17 after a lengthy battle with the neuromuscular disorder, which he was diagnosed with at just seven-months-old. Following his diagnosis in 2018, João's parents took to social media to raise funds for their son's treatment and medical bills.
João Miguel's quality of life was dependant on the drug Spinraza, which stops the disease from advancing, but each dose costs $90,500. But after a year of fundraising - which included a marathon held in the family's hometown of Conselheiro Lafaiete - they were able to raise $248,000.
By May of this year, João Miguel's father, 37-year-old Mateus Henrique Leroy Alves, had devised a plan to abandon his family and make off with the money, Brazilian news outlet Pleno reports. Mateus told his wife that he was leaving for Belo Horizante to undergo training for a security guard job, and during his time away he only returned twice to visit.
On June 22, João Miguel's mother, Karine Rodrigues, noticed $148,000 missing from two of the four accounts the charity money was donated into, leading to her reporting her husband to the police on July 8.
Authorities later found Mateus at a luxury hotel in Salvador, where he had been staying at for almost two months having spent $150,000 on drugs, hookers, designer clothes, watches, and booze, local media reports. During his arrest, Mateus informed the police that he was the victim of extortion.
João Miguel didn't receive his first dose of Spinraza until August. Fortunately, the Brazillian government agreed to cover the cost of the child's first three treatments. But sadly, it was not enough, and João Miguel unexpectedly died at his home last week.