Showing a resilient strength

A former Traralgon woman is facing a life many can’t imagine after losing the ability to talk, taste and smell following throat surgery yesterday.

Renee Watson underwent a permanent tracheostomy – insertion of a tube in her throat – after living with breathing complications for the past 15 years as a result of a rare illness, Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The 33 year-old mum now lives in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, after relocating from the Latrobe Valley due to poor air quality conditions.

Her sister, Traralgon resident Sheree Wilson, has asked Latrobe Valley residents to donate silk scarves to Renee, who must protect the constant opening in her throat from dust, water and other contaminants.

“She’s always going to have it covered, so we’re asking for anyone with silk scarves that they don’t use or wear to donate them, so she can have a variety of them,” Sheree said.

Renee only had a week to prepare for her surgery and used the time to record herself singing happy birthday for her husband and three year-old son, Sam, who she has also recorded stories for.

“We love reading together – that is special time,” Renee said.

“I won’t be able to read to him again. That to me is heartbreaking. The stories are going to be treasured memories.

“Words for a three year-old, especially from mummy, when he is upset, can settle him so easy.

“Sam will have (to make) big adjustments. We all will.”

Scarves can be donated at Wilson Property RCI, 25 Hotham Street, Traralgon.