Teacher in coma can now wiggle her toes

Saturday June 20, 2020 Written by Published in Education
Grace Archer. 20052255 Grace Archer. 20052255

Apii Te Uki Ou teacher Grace Archer is emerging from her coma and able to blink her eyes.

The school’s principal Mark Harris and board of governors president Tony Fe’ao sent an open letter to parents yesterday, advising of the good news for the Kukupa teacher.

Archer was evacuated to Auckland Hospital on May 8, critically ill with listeria. She has been in a coma for six weeks.

And Cook Islands health authorities are investigating the country’s first listeria infection in more than 10 years.

Archer’s medical team said she was in an “emerging state of consciousness”.

Harris and Fe’ao said Archer was not yet completely awake, but was showing she could breathe on her own and was positively responding to the support team by blinking an eye and moving her toes on command. 

Each day she grew slightly stronger and continued to show an amazing fighting spirit.

“We have been informed that she faces a long road to recovery. The medical team are still unsure of the extent of any possible damage the illness may have caused. We remain hopeful that she will continue to improve over time.”

Archer’s partner Theo Warrick, who is another te Uki Ou teacher, remained close at Grace’s side and was supporting her recovery through the difficult time.

A fundraiser at the school raised about $7,000, which has been sent to the couple to help cover some of their travel and medical costs.

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