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Brave mother “an inspiration”

Thursday, 1st September, 2011

FIGHTING BACK: Mel Kidd is looking forward to returning full-time to BH to be re-united with her family, including partner Anthony Edgecumbe. FIGHTING BACK: Mel Kidd is looking forward to returning full-time to BH to be re-united with her family, including partner Anthony Edgecumbe.

By John Casey

A BH mother-of-five has been hailed “an inspiration” as she battles her way back from a rare disease that dramatically changed her life five months ago.

In an extraordinary set of circumstances, 38-year-old Mel Kidd has lost both legs and her right hand as well as suffering other major health setbacks which required 14 operations - all of which stemmed from a minor case of gravel rash on her foot.

On Saturday night Mel demonstrated amazing courage to be guest of honour at a special fund raising event at Club Legion where support was also generated for Stacey Jackson, another local woman recently beset by tragedy.

“More than 300 people attended the night to show their support for these two ladies who received a standing ovation,” event organiser Ann Rogers said.

“For inspiration and positivity Mel is one of the most determined people I have ever come across.”

Partner Anthony Edgecumbe echoed those sentiments, explaining yesterday that with just two months rehabilitation Mel was already walking with her new prosthetic limbs.

Mel yesterday bravely recounted her plight, explaining that when two wounds on her foot hadn’t healed as she expected, she presented at the BH Base Hospital.

“The next thing I remember was waking up in hospital in Adelaide 11 days later not knowing where I was,” Mel said.

She was diagnosed with the rare flesh-eating disease Necrotizing fasciitis and illustrating the enormous courage she is now renowned for, Mel said she was “relieved” when the doctors explained her misfortune.

“When I woke up in Adelaide without my legs and hand (after 11 days in a coma) I had no idea what had happened,” Mel recalled.

“Because of the extent of my injuries I thought I must have been in a bad car accident or explosion or something and I was worried that my kids may have been seriously hurt or worse.

“When my father explained the situation I was relieved that no-one else was involved,” Mel continued.

A “minor blow-out” on her motorbike in March which left two wounds the size of 10-cent pieces on her left foot was the catalyst for Mel’s tragedy.

“The gravel rash just wasn’t healing that well and when the toxins started to attack, my body started to shut down,” Mel said.

Mr Edgecumbe said he dropped Mel at the local hospital at 8am and two hours later he received a phone call saying that she was being rushed to Adelaide by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“I was in a lot of pain for the first three months and now I am just concentrating on getting back to an everyday life,” Mel said bravely.

“The support I received at the fund raising night was unbelievable and I want to thank everyone who contributed to the evening.

“It was great to catch up with some people who had travelled from interstate to support us and some 27 acts performed on the night, all of whom should be congratulated.” 

Mel is undertaking her rehabilitation at Shenton Park in Perth, a hospital close to the home of her parents Gloria and Ashley Kidd, who are helping care for Mel’s three youngest children, April (8), Lynley (3) and Jack, who will soon celebrate his first birthday.

Her other two children, Terri (17) and Curtly (15) have remained in BH to continue their schooling.

“With the support of Mum and Dad I am able to put a lot of time into my rehabilitation and get to a position where I can return full-time to Broken Hill next year,” Mel said.

“I have a two-hour gym session twice a day and I am also taking on a computer course and an art class as well.

“Terri has her Year 12 formal coming up and my goal is to be back in Broken Hill for that in November,” Mel continued.


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