Illness strands tireless Tamworth nurse overseas 

SHE’S spent most of her life caring for others, but Roz Norman’s family now hopes the Tamworth community will rally around her as she battles to get home after falling seriously ill overseas.

Mrs Norman’s family and colleagues will host a “Bring Our Roz Home” dinner this Saturday to raise funds for her extensive medical and travel expenses.

Mrs Norman, a nurse in Tamworth hospital’s children’s ward and local union representative, was on the trip of a lifetime through Europe with husband Garry last month when she fell ill with what was believed to be a chest infection in Vienna, Austria, two weeks in.

But she quickly deteriorated, falling into a coma and being put on life support with what was found to be pneumonia in both lungs.

Her condition was so bad her daughter Melissa Nicholson said she and her sister Rebecca were told to prepare for the worst, and she spent both her birthday and wedding anniversary in a coma.

But Mrs Nicholson said being the fighter her mum was, she pulled through and was discharged 10 days ago  after more than three weeks in hospital.

But Mr and Mrs Norman are now stranded overseas, travel insurance reportedly refusing to pay for the medical and travel expenses because they believe it was due to a pre-existing condition.

Mrs Nicholson estimates the medical costs alone are about $26,000 to $30,000.

Flights back home will also be costly, with Mrs Norman’s weak condition meaning she will need to fly business class, as well as receive oxygen and injections to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

Mrs Nicholson said her mother had spent much of her life giving to the Tamworth community as a Lioness, founding member of both Co-Care and North West Life Education, and an active union member.

Tamworth NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association Tamworth branch president and Tamworth hospital nurse Matthew Cartan said Mrs Norman had put in a lot of time and effort over the years to help everyone at the hospital, and so her colleagues wanted to do whatever they could to help.

This weekend’s dinner at Diggers will include a three-course meal, raffles and entertainment from Mark Shay.

For tickets call Mrs Nicholson on 0438 650 150 or Matthew Cartan on 0403 660 218.

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