Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Fundraiser for student injured after balcony collapse at concert reaches $25,000

Bailley Unahi is described as "an outgoing, vibrant and caring 19-year-old woman with an infectious laugh and a smile that lights up any room she enters". Photo / Supplied
Bailley Unahi is described as "an outgoing, vibrant and caring 19-year-old woman with an infectious laugh and a smile that lights up any room she enters". Photo / Supplied

A Givealittle page for a student who suffered spinal injuries after a balcony collapsed on top of her has raised just under $25,000 since it was created two days ago.

The page, set up for second year university student Bailley Unahi, who suffered multiple fractures following the incident last Friday when a packed balcony collapsed at a block of flats on Castle St, has had a steady flow of pledges since it was created by family friend Andrea Beggs on Monday.

The incident occurred at a packed Six60 concert and left Ms Unahi with "serious spinal injuries".

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The 19-year-old was taken to Dunedin Hospital's emergency department in a serious condition and later transferred to Christchurch Hospital for surgery on her spine. She is now in Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.

Her family fear she may never walk again.

Family spokeswoman Margot Hishon said Ms Unahi was still coming to terms with what happened.

"Some times are tough. It's not knowing what's ahead of her. [But] she's positive and determined to get better.''

Ms Unahi's prognosis had been "a bit variable'' since she was transferred to Burwood.

"There's a lot that nobody knows at this stage. Nobody is rushing with a prognosis. We just have to wait. It's going to be a long road.''

Ms Unahi would be in Burwood for at least three months, Ms Hishon said.

The student's friends would be travelling to Christchurch on Saturday to visit her and she and her family had been "overwhelmed with love and support''.

"These donations will be an enormous help,'' Ms Hishon said.

The page described Ms Unahi as "an outgoing, vibrant and caring 19-year-old woman with an infectious laugh and a smile that lights up any room she enters''. Ms Unahi is studying towards a Bachelor of Science.

"She is an active sports person who loves rugby, netball, basketball and touch. Bailley is a real team player who lives life to the full.''

It said the Unahi family needed to focus on helping Bailley with her recovery and financial assistance would enable them to do so in the coming months.

"We know that the Unahis have always been committed to community causes - it's now time for us to help them in their time of need.''

Many of those who donated also left messages of support for the young woman and her family.

One donor said: "A talented, caring and outgoing member of our rugby club. Get well soon.''

Another donor wrote: "Praying for Bailley's recovery.''

- Additional reporting Otago Daily Times

- NZ Herald

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