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'Mum is at peace now': Abby Hartley's family pay tribute

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 11 September 2018, 6:41a.m.
Abby Hartley and her family.
Abby Hartley and her family.

The family of New Zealander Abby Hartley, who has died in a Bali hospital, say she will be forever in their hearts.

Hartley, 41, was on a second honeymoon when she became ill at the start of August. She had been in an induced coma in hospital with her family by her bedside. She died on Sunday.

Hartley's husband Richard and son Toby were by her side until her last breath.

"On Sunday morning 8.55am Bali time mum let go after fighting and fighting a very long battle," Hartley's daughter Sophie said in a statement.

"Mum is at peace now and we are extremely grateful for the many years of joy and love mum brought us."

"She will forever be held in our memories and hearts and without a doubt she will make her presence known when she is watching over us."

Sophie Hartley said the family "did everything we could and had to do to help mum fight and get her home".

"We would like to thank everyone for all of your love and support, it has made everything that little bit easier.

"We have no bad feelings towards the Government and we understand their decision to not assist us with getting mum home."

Abby Hartley had been in an induced coma in hospital with her family by her bedside. She had been taken to hospital at the start of August. The Hamilton woman died on Sunday.

Abby Hartley with her husband Richard at hospital in Bali.
Abby Hartley with her husband Richard at hospital in Bali.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today she was "gutted" to learn of Hartley's death.

Hartley's family had asked the Government for help to medevac her back to New Zealand but Ardern ruled out the assistance.

"I learned yesterday, late afternoon, of Abby's passing. There's no doubt that this obviously is gutting and including for all the New Zealanders who reached out to support the family," Ardern said on Radio NZ.

"The money was raised to bring her home and it is incredibly sad that that opportunity just didn't eventuate."

Ardern said she had been surprised, while working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mfat), by the number of New Zealanders who sought and were given consular support every year.

"Over 200 cases where medical issues arise where Mfat does provide support. That support just doesn't extend to bringing them home and hasn't done, and nor do really any of our international counterparts either."

Ardern said help could be provided to Kiwis abroad, but that did not absolve insurers of their obligations to customers.

"When it comes to significant medical events, then that's when we're always hoping and seeking the assistance of insurers to support New Zealanders, when there are situations like medevacs," she told TVNZ.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta was providing consular assistance to the family.

"We were saddened to learn that Abby Hartley has died," he said.

"Our thoughts are with Abby's family at this difficult time."

National Party leader Simon Bridges had said he had been contacted by concerned New Zealanders who had agreed to pay for the Medevac costs to return Hartley to New Zealand once she was strong enough.

"I learned late weekend and contacted [husband] Richard Hartley to pass my condolences on to him and his family and offer any help I could. He was very gracious," Bridges said today.

"I am incredibly saddened for Richard and his family about Abby - my heart really goes out to them at this awful time."

Hartley fell ill at the start of last month while holidaying at the tourist destination and was eventually placed in an induced coma on August 15.

She had contracted septicaemia, and her hospital bill was well over $100,000. Her insurance company refused to pay the bill, telling her family her illness related to a pre-existing condition.

A Givealittle page to help fund her return to New Zealand raised more $230,000 after the Government refused to intervene.

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