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Win a Wish - The ties that bind

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A lifelong dream to connect with his mother and visit her final resting place has come true for Catholic Healthcare's Blakeney Lodge resident, Skeet.

Blakeney Lodge is located in Tumut, NSW. When Skeet first heard about Catholic Healthcare’s Win a Wish competition, to celebrate its 25th anniversary year, he saw an opportunity to have his greatest wish come true.

Skeet never got to know his Mum. He was raised by his Dad. His Mum moved away from Tumut when he was only two years old and settled in the small town of Tingha in north west NSW. Skeet never saw her again but often thought of her. All his life he has been wondering what she looked like and what happened to her.

Skeet reached out to his half-brother, Ken, and found out his Mum was buried in Tingha Cemetery where she died aged only 46 years. Without the help of the Win A Wish competition, travelling to Tingha was too costly and difficult for Skeet.

“You can imagine how delighted he was when we told him we would be going to Tingha,” says Vicki Collins, Diversional Therapist at Blakeney Lodge.

Vicki and Skeet headed off together and flew to Sydney and then onto Armidale. They picked up a hire car and Vicki drove to the town of Inverell.

“Here we met Ken and his wife Val,” continues Vicki. “It was a very emotional reunion and we all travelled on together to Tingha. Ken showed Skeet where he grew up, where he went to school and then they visited the cemetery together. Ken shared some old family photos with Skeet of his mother and other siblings – precious memories.

“It was a wonderful moment when they both visited the cemetery. Skeet did not know when his mother had died or how old she was. The brothers stood there by her grave holding each other.”

Now back in Blakeney Lodge, Skeet is at peace with himself.

“Skeet was able to do something he never thought he would,” says Vicki. “He seems more at ease now, more relaxed. Like a weight has been lifted. He never had a chance before to say goodbye to his Mum and now he has.”