We read earlier in the week of the tragic death in Vietnam of New Zealand grandmother Julie Ferne. Ms Ferne died when she tripped and fell seven metres from a balcony whilst holding her newborn grandson Carter, who is seriously ill in hospital.
But as the Herald reports, Ms Ferne's family are turning a personal tragedy into something positive:
The family of a New Zealand grandmother killed when she fell nearly seven metres while carrying her baby grandson at her son's Vietnam home say they have been comforted by the generosity of people who have donated to a trust in her name.The Julie Ferne Memorial Trust has so far raised $7500 for the Ho Chi Minh Children's Hospital, where Carter Preston, now 1 week old, is recovering after the tragedy.Ms Ferne toppled over a railing with Carter in her arms at her son's home in Ho Chi Minh City last Friday.She had been in the city to celebrate the birth of her son Phil Preston's first child with his partner, Chau Nguyen.Carter remains in a critical condition but has been showing signs of improvement since he was rushed to hospital with bleeding on his brain."There's been no change since yesterday, so we're taking it as a plateau before he has another leap in the right direction," Mr Preston said yesterday.
It is hard to imagine the emotional rollercoaster that Phil Preston and Chau Nguyen must be on at the moment. Mr Preston has lost his mum in tragic circumstances, the couple is dealing with the seriousness of their son's condition, and yet they can think of the needs of others. That's humanity at its finest.
Mr Preston and Ms Nguyen decided to set up a trust in Ms Ferne's memory after seeing the paucity of equipment in the hospital where Carter is being treated. It was reported yesterday that they have witnessed other children being hand-ventilated by their parents because there are not enough machines to go around. And they have made a personal commitment to ensure that funds go to where they are intended; read on:
His brother Sean said the money raised so far through the trust would contribute to new equipment at Ho Chi Minh Children's Hospital, which is desperately short of some basic equipment."From all the tragedy and the sorrow of the last few days when I clicked open the bank account to see how it was tracking it really choked me up seeing the support from all over New Zealand," Sean Preston said."We just really want to thank everyone for their generosity, it means so much to us and it has really helped us in terms of getting through this."He said he had made a personal commitment to ensuring the money was spent appropriately."We're going to see exactly what the hospital needs and then physically deliver it because a lot of money gets lost in black holes here."People wishing to donate to the Julie Ferne Memorial Trust can deposit funds in ASB account 12-3198-0065427-00.