$12,000 raised to reunite ill interstate truckie with his family


When a Victorian truckie collapsed while working in Brisbane, ending up in an induced coma in ICU, a Go Fund Me page was set up so his wife could be by his side. Over $12,000 has now been raised – and counting.

On August 21, after loading his truck, Wayne ‘Harry’ Butler collapsed as the result of a major brain bleed. After learning of the devastating news, his wife Denise – who lives in regional Victoria – was faced with another blow. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions and requirements to self-isolate for 14 days at her own expense, the costs to be reunited with her ill husband seemed out of reach.

Family friend Andrea Sutton, together with three others close to the family, had spoken about wanting to do something to help. A Go Fund Me page, named ‘Hope Lives Here’, was set up to help alleviate the financial stresses placed on the family.

“We just needed to take that pressure off the family. We thought if we could get $3000, we would be very fortunate – now it’s over $12,000. In these times that are tough, people are really showing their compassion,” says Andrea.

Thanks to the generosity of those who donated, Denise was able to travel to Brisbane and be closer with her husband.

“Harry is now awake and breathing independently. He has lost his short term memory for now and there are still other issues going on, so testing is being done. There is also still pressure on the brain,” Andrea explains.

Denise had been granted an exemption so she could visit her husband for one hour a day prior to completing her 14 days of mandatory hotel isolation. However, as of today, that exemption has been revoked and she will need to serve the remainder of her quarantine before being allowed to see Harry again. “He was in ICU, but now he has been shifted to another ward and the hospital has said they don’t have the staff available to accompany her,” Andrea explains. “Denise is devastated.”

Though Harry is now on the road to recovery, the funds raised will continue to support the family through this very difficult ordeal.

Andrea asserts that it will be a long road to recovery and she thanked those who donated for the overwhelming support. “The trucking industry is just amazing. It’s like a real family. We’ve had partners of truck drivers who have been in similar situations and they’ve reached out to us. We’ve had owner drivers offer to keep his truck on the road if it was needed. His employer has been very supportive too. The support they family has received has been incredible.”

To donate, please visit the Go Fund Me page.

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