Family thanks community for unwavering support
A FUNDRAISER set up for the family of a beloved Torquay father-of-two who died suddenly while on his regular mountain bike ride has triggered an outpouring of community support.
Scott Haysham-Weidner, 45, was only a few minutes from home when he was seen falling from his bike in Duffields Road on July 10 and was unable to be resuscitated by a doctor who witnessed the fall.
Family friend Donna Nugent set up a GoFundMe campaign to provide financial support for Scott’s partner Andrea Thompson and the couple’s daughters, Holliday, 7, and Sailor, 6.
An initial goal of $25,000 was reached within 24 hours, and as of Saturday morning more than $116,000 had been raised in just nine days.
A heartbroken Andrea said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received following the sudden loss of Scott who she described as “the nicest guy you could ever meet”, a gentleman and devoted family man.
“It was such a shock,” she said.
“I have good moments, bad moments – I am just trying to get through moment by moment, day by day and I am just trying to be strong for the girls.
“I do have unwavering support around me, so I feel really grateful for that.”
Andrea said Scott was passionate about mountain bike riding and she was taking some comfort from the fact he died doing what he loved.
She said they were still unsure of what had medically happened to Scott but the immediate response from witnesses was something for which she would be forever
“There was a GP and a paramedic in the area and they worked on him instantly and I just want to say thank you to them, to those strangers who rang me to let me know what was happening and the police officers from Anglesea who have just been amazing,” she said.
“It gives us such comfort to know that he had the utmost help and care he could have from people that were just there when it happened and did everything they could.
“In such a dark time it’s really shone a light on the kindness of humans.”
Andrea said the couple moved to the Surf Coast 10 years ago because of Scott’s love of mountain biking and because it seemed like such a lovely community and beautiful place to live.
She said Scott was at a time in his life when he had never been happier, having built a new home surrounded by terrific neighbours and relishing his role as a doting dad to their girls.
He made the most of the Surf Coast lifestyle and endeared himself to everyone he met.
“Scott, and I know I sound biased, but he did not have a bad bone in his body and he was just a gentleman,” Andrea said.
“He was so kind, he was always in a good mood, he always greeted people with a smile and he was just a really genuine, lovely man.
“People have been saying ‘he was just the nicest guy you could ever meet’ and his greatest joy of life was his two daughters, he was so close with them and just lit up when he was talking about his family.
“The Surf Coast was just a joy for him, so I have so comfort in knowing that he died doing what he loved, in a place that he loved, surrounded by the people in the community he loved.”
Andrea thanked everyone who was donating to the GoFundMe, as well as the Bellbrae Primary School, strangers who had reached out to give food, flowers and gift vouchers, as well as businesses such as Peachs who had been incredibly generous.
“People have shown their support and expressed their concern for us in so many ways,” she said.
“It’s been a really dark time but the kindness of this community has just really carried me along so I’m so grateful.”
If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser set up to support the family, you can do so by searching ‘Scott’s Girls’ on the GoFundMe website.