After NSW paramedic Michael Wilson was killed in the line of duty, his wife Kellie and her children Eliza, 14, Grace, 12, and Hugo, 6, want to thank the people of Sutherland Shire for their love, thoughts and support. Reporter Emma Partridge spoke to the family about the greatest man in their life and plans for a benefit to be held in Mr Wilson’s honour this Saturday night.
THREE months after the death of her husband Kellie Wilson says the overwhelming support shown by friends, family, strangers and people of Sutherland Shire has helped them to get through the ‘‘good days and bad’’.
Special casualty access team paramedic Michael Wilson, 42, of Gymea Bay, died during the rescue of an injured canyoner at Carrington Falls on Christmas Eve.
The father of three died after hitting a rock face while suspended from a helicopter.
The circumstances of the accident are still under investigation.
This Saturday more than 400 people will gather for a benefit at Gymea Tradies to raise money for Mr Wilson’s family.
‘‘I think [Michael] would be proud of the Shire,’’ Mrs Wilson said.
‘‘Nothing can ever replace Michael but we are so very thankful for the kindness.
‘‘It’s not until you experience something of this magnitude that you realise kindness like this exists.
‘‘It’s quite extraordinary.’’
Neighbour and friend Dawn McNeil said she organised the benefit because she saw how many people wanted to help but didn’t know what to do.
More than $100,000 worth of donated prizes for the benefit are piled up in her house.
‘‘I want to thank the public lots and lots,’’ Grace Wilson, 12, said.
‘‘People who live in our street, all the SCAT boys and our schools [Kirrawee High School and Gymea Bay Public School] have been really supportive.’’
Mrs Wilson, a trauma nurse, said her husband worked as a paramedic for 18 years and lived for helping others.
‘‘Michael had an extraordinary capacity to turn chaos into calm,’’ she said.
‘‘He had a very kind and gentle disposition which I think allowed people to feel safe and secure.’’
Close friend and fellow SCAT paramedic Greg Kirk said Mr Wilson broke his leg during their training but once it healed he retrained and joined in 2006.
‘‘To come back from that is just a testament to Michael’s commitment,’’ Mr Kirk said.
Mr Wilson received bravery awards for rescuing a patient from the Wombeyan Caves in 2008 and for attempting to resuscitate policeman Constable William Crews, who was fatally shot at Bankstown in 2010.
SCAT paramedics do not hold extra medical qualifications but are trained in abseiling, canyoning, caving, swiftwater rescue and work in helicopters to take treatment to patients no matter where they are.
Details: To make a donation to the Wilson family or purchase a ticket for the benefit call Dawn McNeil on 0404 982 908.
Leave a tribute for Mr Wilson below.