Miracle mum refused to die

SOUTH Grafton's Justine Slater missed travelling back to Armidale for the family Christmas get-together last year for the first time in her life.

She was reminded of that fact when her mum, Sandra Jones, rang her four weeks ago to say that it was getting close to nine months since they'd seen each other.

Her answer was “sorry mum, but I have been busy.”

A week after the call Justine was rushing back to the New England district after hearing her mother had fallen into a coma and doctors had given her virtually no chance of pulling through.

“That trip was so gut-wrenching, all the way I felt so guilty that I had let trivial matters stand in the way of being with my mum and family,” Justine said.

“I thought that now I would never get the chance to tell her how much I loved her,” she said.

When she arrived at Armidale hospital she was met by her sister, Sonia, who gave her the news that the doctors believed their mum had suffered a major stroke and that even if she was to recover she would be in a severely incapacitated.

“Mum had always said to us that if she fell ill she didn't want to be kept on life support, but we had to give it a chance so we told the doctors to do everything they could to save her,” Justine said.

And for nine days the doctors did just that, even though they continued to give her little chance of ever coming out of the coma.

Sonia didn't move from Sandra's side and Justine kept travelling back and forth from Grafton to be with them.

Their brother, Darren, was on army duty in East Timor when their mum took sick and he also rushed home.

With the three children constantly bedside at the hospital Sandra remained in a coma for nine days.

“It was a Monday and I had been talking to mum all day before jumping into the car to head back home,” Justine said.

“I was just getting into Grafton when Sonia called and said Mum had woken up and wanted to know what all the fuss was about, I couldn't believe the news. If anything I thought she may have been ringing to tell me mum had passed away.”

In what Justine says is a miracle her mother not only woke from her coma, but also showed no signs of any medical problems.

“She is now back home and we just cherish every day with her,” Justine said.

“It has been a major wake-up call for me about my life; I won't ever miss a family Christmas again.”

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