It was bad enough being injured in the aftermath of the earthquake and then airlifted to Christchurch for treatment. However, after five months away all Celia Wigmore wanted was to come back home.
The 83-year-old is now back in Kaikoura, but has found herself in limbo, with no home or permanent place to go.
The day after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake Celia was airlifted to Burwood Hospital with a fractured arm. She was later transferred to Amberley Rest Home where she lived until two weeks ago.
“My doctor said I couldn’t stay in Kaikoura – there was no water or anything, and she couldn’t look after me,” said Celia.
Kaikoura has been her home for 40 years.
With no family in New Zealand she has nowhere else to go.
“The people at Amberley Rest Home were very kind and quite happy to have me stay, but I Iive here.
“This is my home – I had to come back here,” she said.
READ MORE: * NZ earthquake: Flights out of Kaikoura to ramp up – but wait until Wednesday for Navy ships * South Canterbury Red Cross disaster relief team deployed to Kaikoura* Earthquake: Response teams gather in Kaikoura * Quake evacuees from Kaikoura arrive in Christchurch on HMNZS Canterbury * A Southlander in Kaikoura – helping the shaken
Unfortunately Celia is unable to live in her home again, and doesn’t know if it is unliveable or unrepairable.
The delay has frustrated Celia.
“I’m still waiting for my insurance settlement.
“If I got the money I would buy another house.”
Age Concern earthquake support co-ordinator Beverley Mason said Celia’s house had no running water or heating.
“She had a terrible experience, all alone in the dark and was found by her neighbours in complete shock.”
“When Celia arrived at Amberley Rest Home she was traumatised, but they fell in love with her, and were sad when she left.”
Manager Tracey Dimmock-Rump said the experience had been tough on her and when Celia arrived two days after the earthquake she had been like a “scared dog”.
“She was just bewildered by everything.
“All she had were the clothes on her back.
She wanted to go home, but there are just not enough properties in Kaikoura at the moment.The alternative is for her to buy her own small unit or home,
Celia is now staying at Kaikoura Hospital Rest Home.