Christchurch Earthquake Aftermath: A Request for Support
On February 22, Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand's south island was devastated by an earthquake. Australia was still reeling from widespread record-breaking floods and a cyclone, and then Japan was hit by its earthquake and tsunami, which dwarfed both southern hemisphere events. It was a time of disasters.
A few days after the Christchurch earthquake we e-mailed our support and sympathy to our subscribers in New Zealand. At the time we received a number of grateful thank-you notes but earlier this month we had a response from Brian Coker that turned our day upside down. You can see our original e-mail and Brian's response below.
The story of a man trapped in a collapsed building whose legs had to be amputated to free him, with the amputation being done by two Australian urologists, who just happened to be in Christchurch for a conference, using a knife and a hacksaw, was in the news but we did not make the connection to Brian. You can Google extensive coverage of Brian's story such as this from ABC News. Eighteen people died when the Pyne Gould Corporation building collapsed. Ten of Brian's colleagues were killed and several others had limbs amputated. You can see coverage of what was happening at the building immediately afterwards here.
A foundation has been set up to support Pyne Gould Corporation employees and their families. You can learn more and make a donation here. Please give consideration to providing your support.
Thanking you in anticipation,
P.S. FinaMetrica is trying to organise a special treat for Brian, which we will report on in due course.
From: Coker, Brian
Sent: Monday, 16 May 2011 8:16 PM
To: Nicki Potts - FinaMetrica Pty Limited
Subject: RE: Christchurch
Thank you so much for your email. I have only recently received a new work laptop and I am slowly working my way through emails.
I am now out of hospital and my wounds are nearly healed. As you may be aware both of my legs were amputated above the knee in order to get me out of our office building that I was trapped in.
My progress is going very well and I look forward to getting prosthetic legs in coming months and learning to walk again.
I hope to return to work soon when we get back to Christchurch from Hamilton within the next few weeks.
I have had some wonderful messages of support from friends and clients and we have been humbled by these expressions of care for us.
Thank you for your kind thoughts.
From: Nicki Potts - FinaMetrica Pty Limited
Sent: Monday, 28 February 2011 17:20
To: Coker, Brian
You may be aware that Australians generally have watched closely the tragedy unfolding in Christchurch. While we may be fierce competitors in sport, we are family and we feel for you as we would if it had happened here.
We do have our share of natural disaster but have experienced nothing like this and can't really imagine what it must be like, except that it is truly terrible. We do hope that you or those close to you have not suffered directly but realise that all will have suffered indirectly.
Please accept our sincere compassion and our hopes for recovery.
The Team @ FinaMetrica