Ray of hope

Kate with her daughter Jemima.

By Derek Schlennstedt

The parents of Kate Arnott have thanked the hills community for its incredible support, as their daughter continues to fight on after being placed into an induced coma in January this year.

Father, Graeme, and mother, Marita Arnott, said the the hills community had united behind them.

They added that while Kate, from Emerald, still has a long road to recovery, she has taken very small, but sure steps towards rehabilitation.

Earlier in the year, the ‘Mail’ reported on Kate’s precarious state after she went into hospital on 11 January for day surgery on her sphincter of oddi – a muscular valve that controls the flow of digestive juices through ducts from the liver and pancreas.

The relatively simple operation required a stent to be put in the valve.

Though there was a 20 per-cent chance of getting pancreatitis – which Kate got.

After this, she was diagnosed with septic shock and multiple organ failure, and, finally, Critical Illness Neuropathy

She was then placed into an induced coma for 19 weeks, with family and friends describing the ordeal as a nightmare.

Though, despite all the complications, Mr Arnott said the community support has been astonishing.

“It’s something we’ve known about for quite a long time … if you live in the hills, it just seems to come with the territory that people go out of their way to help,” he said.

“Little things like the rubbish bins being brought in for us … trust me, when it’s dark and raining and you’ve been out to the hospital, and come home thinking you have to bring the bins in, it makes a big difference.

“People expressing concern, keeping in touch, giving us cards and flowers … we’ve had meals delivered.

“We have all been suffering a truly horrific journey, but people are genuinely caring and that’s something we have noticed in the hills and that’s why we’ve been in the hills for over 30 years it’s because of that community.”

As of May 24, Kate was moved to a rehabilitation centre where slight, but encouraging signs have been made.

Though, Mr Arnott conceded it would be a long and hard journey ahead.

“There have been little signs and as the doctors say baby steps … it gives us hope, but we accept that it’s going to be a long road.”

Mr Arnott once again thanked the community for their generosity, with a GoFundMe created by Kate’s brother to ease the monetary stress of the journey and rehabilitation costs reaching the goal of $50,000.

“Over the last four months we, her family, have received much support and encouragement from many individuals and groups who know of Kate and her situation,” he said

“We would really like to acknowledge at this time how wonderful this support has been, and how appreciative we are of the many acts of kindness we have experienced.”