Family raising money to make dying Hastings woman’s final Christmas special

Lori Pethig
Lori Pethig

The family of a Hastings woman who has numerous health problems is fundraising to ensure she has a special Christmas in what might be her last.

Lori Pethig, 20, was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a genetic condition which causes tumours to grow along nerves, at the age of ten after she lost her sight.

In the years that followed, the former Helenswood student spent extended periods in hospital as the NF2 progressed.

Lori, who later studied history at William Parker, is now registered blind, is partially deaf and paralysed down the right side of her face.

In June, she went to Kings College to have a craniotomy which resulted in heart failure and the discovery of a bleed on the brain.

Another bleed on the brain caused her to have a stroke, leaving her in Kings College for eight weeks, with another three weeks in a stroke unit.

She returned home but, due to her serious health problems, she went into a hospice for symptom control, where she developed sepsis.

After a particularly tough year, Lori’s sister Eleanor decided to set up a fundraising page to ensure she has a special Christmas, in what appears increasingly-likely to be her last.

Eleanor, 18, said: “We are a big family – I am one of ten siblings – but it hasn’t been a great year.

“My younger siblings have had to move around a lot recently and didn’t have a holiday or nice days out in the summer so it would be nice to give them something.

“It would mean literally so much to us if we could raise some money and make her Christmas.

“We really would be grateful in any help to make it special for a special young lady and her siblings.”

Lori and Eleanor’s eldest brother Billy was killed alongside their father Steve when they were hit by a drunk driver in 2005.

Their other siblings are Warren, Jenson, Gephyn, Hanson, Dennis, Benedict and Reny.

If you would like to support Lori and her family, please visit www.gofundme.com/f/my-sister-lori.