The story of Mitch Thomas, the East Maitland teenager left a quadriplegic following a terrible accident in the Hunter River at Lorn in January, has touched the lives of many Maitland residents.
It was a terrible accident, but it was an accident that could have happened to any one of us or our loved ones who have ever ventured to the river to cool off on a hot summer’s afternoon.
Maitlanders are renowned for their generosity – just look at the city’s magnificent efforts during times of floods – but the outpouring of support for Mitch and his mother Dianne Conroy has been overwhelming.
In the six months since the accident more than $21,000 has been donated to the Mercury’s Pitch in for Mitch Appeal to help meet their ongoing expenses.
Mitch’s mum, Dianne Conroy is right when she says that it’s people, not the amount of money in your bank account, that determines whether you are rich or poor.
And she says the generosity shown by the people of Maitland makes Mitch and her both “filthy rich”.
It is stories such as this that make us realise how lucky we are to live in a city such as Maitland.
On behalf of all of Maitland, the management and staff of the Mercury wishes Mitch and Dianne all the best – and a pledge that we will stick by them in the long days ahead.