Chiefs Assistant Coach and Manu Samoa Technical Advisor Andrew Strawbridge and his wife Laura have a very simple message and it is to say thank you.
The couple wishes to express gratitude to the extremely kind people who have donated over $65,000 to the Strawbridge Givealittle appeal to provide medical equipment for the Moto’otua National Hospital Intensive Care Unit in Samoa.
There were 687 generous donations with many heart felt messages accompanying the donations. Donors shared their own stories, with both sad and happy endings, and the Strawbridge family is touched by the willingness of donors to share those very personal stories.
Fortunately Andrew’s story has a happy ending. Andrew has lost sight in his right eye, but considers himself a very lucky man.
“This experience has taught us a lot about the human spirit, the kindness of people, and how lucky and well resourced we are in New Zealand with our hospitals and primary care physicians.
“The enormity of the gratitude my wife Laura and I feel overwhelms us. We thank everyone who has supported us in my recovery and helped us with our Samoan appeal, allowing us to provide much needed medical equipment for the Moto’otua National Hospital Intensive Care Unit”, said the 51 year-old father of three.
Andrew survived his traumatic life threatening experience after falling critically ill in Samoa while there for the historic Samoa v All Blacks match. Dr Dave Galler and the Intensive Care Unit teams at both the Moto’otua National Hospital and Waikato Hospital saved his life, with the support of the air ambulance crew who flew Andrew from Apia to Hamilton.
After Andrew and Laura’s story aired on television on the current affairs show ‘Sunday’, there was another flood of both financial donations and people offering to help and donate medical equipment.
The first shipment of medical equipment has been transported to Samoa thanks to support of Air New Zealand and the Strawbridge family will continue to support the Samoan ICU. They will continue to work on more fundraising initiatives.