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Family statement: death of NZ woman in Ho Chi Minh City

Family statement regarding death of New Zealand woman Julie Ferne in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Our mother, Julie Ferne died on 24 August following a tragic accident while staying with family in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Mum stumbled whilst descending a staircase and fell 6.7 metres to a marble floor. She died shortly after in hospital. We’re working with the New Zealand Consulate to arrange her return home.

Unfortunately Mum was holding her four day old grandson, Phil’s son, Carter Preston, whilst descending the stairs. Carter was injured when she fell and is currently in a critical condition in the Ho Chi Minh Children's Hospital: Nhi Dong 2 with bleeding on the brain. Carter is continuing to fight and all our thoughts and well wishes are with his recovery. Kia Kaha little man.

We would appreciate privacy in this time as we grieve as a family. We would like to thank everyone in New Zealand and around the world for their prayers, support and well wishes. Many people have asked if there is anything that they can do to help. Mum spoke to us before she died about the poverty in Vietnam and her desire to contribute. To illustrate this situation, in the same ward as Carter at Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital is a young baby with a heart condition. In the last few days that we have been here the baby's parents have been taking shifts constantly hand pumping his ventilator to keep their child alive, as the hospital does not have the automated equipment to do this.

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To ensure that something good comes from this tragedy and in the memory of our mum we have set up a trust fund to raise money for hospital equipment so desperately needed by Ho Chi Minh Children's Hospital: Nhi Dong 2. Donations are gratefully received to any branch of ASB Bank or directly into the Julie Ferne Memorial Trust ASB account, 12-3198-0065427-00.

Stefan, Phil and Sean Preston.

Notes to all Editors:

Attached is an image of Julie Ferne and Carter Preston if required for publication.

Additional images have been posted by family and friends on Facebook; however the family requests that these images are not used without permission.

You will be aware that the family is grieving at this time so we appreciate all efforts to respect their privacy. We also appreciate that there may be a public interest in what has happened which is why we have prepared and released this statement and the attached photo for your use.


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