UPDATE | Gunnedah woman awake and moving

UPDATE: 10am

Nancy Small is showing more signs of activity following an operation on Friday.

Her husband, Colin, said she went in for surgery late Friday afternoon because she had “pockets of fluid develop on her brain”.

“They put drain holes on both sides of her head to bleed fluid from her brain,” he said.

Colin said she was on oxygen but was “a lot better”.

“When she can do without that, they’re going to be a hole in her throat,” he said.

Colin said Nancy woke up on Saturday and was “looking around”.

“She watched TV for about an hour and a half yesterday,” he said.

Colin is currently in Gunnedah and is returning to Newcastle today.

More this afternoon at www.nvi.com.au

Nancy Small is now breathing on her own.

Nancy Small is now breathing on her own.

UPDATE: Tuesday, May 23, 5pm

Nancy Small remains in a critical condition in the ICU but is now off life support.

Her husband, Colin Small, said she had picked up a “bug” overnight, and samples were sent away this morning with results expected late today.

“They said they should be able to clear that big up fairly well once they know what it is,” he said.

Her right lung is still retaining fluid as a result of pneumonia. 

“She is still in a coma but she is hanging onto my hand a lot harder,” Colin said.

“She’s opened her eyes for a minute or two minutes, which is the longest.

“She seems to have more strength in her left arm because she really squeezed my hand today when I was talking to her.”

The Small children are keeping vigil by Nancy’s bedside while her granddaughter, Cindy Whitfield, manages the Waterways Wildlife Park.

Colin said the support from Cindy and the community has been great.

“Volunteers, they’re coming from everywhere,” he said.

“They were 11 cars [at the park] today.”

Colin said community members were lending a hand at the park and dropping in hot food. 

“It’s fantastic of the people of Gunnedah and the council sent us a big beautiful bunch of flowers today,” he said.

“They sent it to the bedside.”

Colin said family members had also received free parking at the hospital which eased the strain.

Nancy Small is on life support at John Hunter Hospital.

Nancy Small is on life support at John Hunter Hospital.

UPDATE: Tuesday, May 23, 11am

Nancy Small remains in a critical condition on life support at John Hunter Hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm last week.

The Gunnedah local was moved from ICU briefly on Monday but was rushed into emergency when she stopped breathing following chest x-rays.

“They worked on her for some time, half an hour, and then she started breathing a quarter of her own self,” her husband,” Colin said.

“At this stage she is still on life support for just a couple of days to see how it goes.”

Colin said her right lung was drained after x-rays confirmed that she had developed pneumonia. 

She is currently in ICU and has been put into a chair to help her breathing.

“She’s not awake,” Colin said.

“She opened her left eye for me today for a couple of seconds.”

Nancy had an operation last week in which the top of her skull was removed and clips were inserted so no more blood could enter the aneurysm. Colin said she didn’t suffer from a stroke.

“It’s perfect now. No infection or anything,” he said.

“It was a successful operation.

“They did two scans since then to check the pegs were still intact.”

Colin said the top of her skull had not been replaced at this stage because of swelling in the brain.

“[We’re] just waiting now for the signs to improve,” he said. 

Nancy Small with her husband, Colin.

Nancy Small with her husband, Colin.

UPDATE: Tuesday, May 23, 10:35am

Nancy Small remains in critical condition in the ICU at John Hunter Hospital, according to a Hunter New England Health spokesperson.

UPDATE: Monday, May 22, 10:25am

Nancy Small will be moved out of ICU today, according to her granddaughter, Cindy Whitfield.

“She was awake all night last night and she’s just progressing a bit more every day,” Cindy said.

“She’s opening eyes more and moving her arms.

“I actually went and saw her yesterday myself.​”

UPDATE: Friday, May 19, 8:30am

Well-known Gunnedah woman Nancy Small is in a ‘critical’ but stable condition at John Hunter Hospital, according to a Hunter New England Health spokesperson.

The Gunnedah community continues to pour out its concerns, well wishes and support following the Namoi Valley Independent’s article on Thursday.

Thursday, May 18 12:15pm

Gunnedah local Nancy Small is in a stable condition in the ICU in John Hunter Hospital.

The 69-year-old woman was airlifted from Gunnedah District Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter on Monday with a medical condition.

Nancy’s granddaughter, Cindy Whitfield contacted the Namoi Valley Independent on behalf of Nancy’s husband Colin, and her family on Thursday morning.

“We don’t have much to go on but she is doing fine,” Cindy said.

“She’s passed one hurdle.

“Thank you to everyone for their calls and food and flowers. We appreciate it.”

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