Friends donate $20,000 for sick teacher

Saturday May 23, 2020 Written by Published in Local
Grace Archer. 20052255 Grace Archer. 20052255

The family of Rarotonga teacher Grace Archer has set up a fundraising page to help support her recovery.

Health authorities are investigating the country’s first listeria infection in more than 10 years, after the young primary teacher was flown to hospital in Auckland in critical condition.

Archer was flown out on the scheduled Air New Zealand flight. When her condition deteriorated rapidly, family members paid to charter another plane two days later to fly her partner Theo Warrick to join her at her bedside in intensive care.

Archer and Warrick were both teachers at Apii Te Uki Ou.

Yesterday, their pupils and fellow teachers sent their love, posting photos of themselves wearing pulled-up calf-socks – Warrick’s tongue-in-cheek fashion statement.

“We love and miss you guys,” they wrote. “Sending you and Miss Archer loads of love, hugs and strength.”

Already, 281 friends and family and wellwishers have donated nearly $20,000 to help with the families’ costs. Among them are families whose children are in their classes at Te Uki Ou this year.

Supporter Petra Donnison said “our darling Grace” was being treated in Auckland Hospital. She had contracted listeria meningitis, which led to encephalitis.

“She is in a coma and receiving intravenous antibiotics to treat the infection,” Donnison wrote on the fundraising page, Graces Recovery.

“We would like to raise money to support her ongoing recovery and rehabilitation. And also to support her immediate family as they in turn support her.”

Donnison said Archer’s immediate family were not from Auckland. Her mother is in Manawatu, and Grace Archer was previously teaching at Woodstock School in Hamilton.

“Ultimately this is all about Grace,” Donnison said. “If we can support her family so that they in turn can support her. You as donors can help to make that happen.”

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