It’s been a shocking, painful, tragic week for the Gold Coast, but for some of us it’s been even more unbearable.
The horrific tragedy at Dreamworld was a terrible accident that truly, could have been any of us. Less than a week later, we’re still in shock. Still in grief. Still processing how such a senseless, split-second tragedy could have left so many families reeling, and four young children – one just 8 months old – without their beloved mums.
But sadly there are other families hurting on the Gold Coast this week, families who have suddenly lost loved ones in ways that are far less public, but just as heartbreaking.
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I received a phone call from one of my closest friends on the weekend and as soon as I answered, I knew something was seriously wrong. “It’s my sister,” she said between tears. “It’s Roxy… she died.”
Beautiful Roxanne Warner was just 45 when she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, of a massive heart attack. Her family is understandably broken and devastated, especially her three kids.
Jamie is 20, Mitch is 19 and Sasha is just 10 years old.
It’s heartbreaking enough that these kids have suddenly had their mum ripped from their lives, but worse is that it’s not the first time they’ve had to cope with losing a parent. Jamie and Mitch’s dad died 12 years ago – so they are now parentless, rudderless, and faced with a future in which they’re raising their baby sister.
In the immediate future, they need to find the money to pay for Roxy’s funeral. The extended family is all chipping in, of course, but the picture bigger is that they need to find a new home for these three siblings to live together.
Thankfully, we’re on the Gold Coast. The Coast can get a bad wrap from time to time as being a gaudy glitter strip with no substance, but we’re so much more than that. There is one thing we do really well, and that’s rally behind those who are hurting in times of need.
Roxy only passed a few days ago but already, a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for the funeral and help her kids stay together in their own home has raised several thousand dollars. Mitch is a university student and with any luck, he’ll be able keep studying while supporting his family.
Because, at just 19, he is now the man of the house. What a huge weight for a lovely teenage kid to wear on his shoulders. Hopefully with the community’s support, he won’t have to wear it alone.
If you wish to learn more or support the family, click here.