2 October 2012
The faces of the classmates of 10-year-old Grace Yeats at St Mary’s Carterton lit up as they discussed how they felt about Grace’s absence in Auckland’s Starship Hospital with a mysterious brain injury.
Grace has been unable to walk or talk since May. The Dominion Post reported on September 3 that Grace is likely to be aware of what is going on around her. ‘The most likely diagnosis is acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, a rare brain disease that probably struck after she caught a throat infection.’
During a Seasons for Growth session with Esther Saldanha on September 19, Grace’s classmates talked of her many talents in dancing, singing and sports, her ability to ‘do the splits’, her love of animals and of their love for her.
Teacher Amber Grey had invited Esther to run the programme to help the children with their grief over what had happened to Grace.
They said they felt sad, sick in the stomach, fearful, sorry that she was in hospital while they were okay.
The programme helped the children to realise that change is normal.
Meanwhile, the Grace Yeats Trust raised almost $50,000 in a fundraising auction on September 1.
The children were proud of their community that had now raised almost $100,000 to help her family support Grace in the hospital and prepare for her homecoming.
‘Now the whole country will know about the good people in Carterton,’ they said.