Gastro victim still living the nightmare + VIDEO

By Anneke Smith -
2 comments

Havelock North resident Scott Kelly was living a normal life, working as a plumber when he contracted campylobacter after drinking from the contaminated water supply in Havelock North last August.

Since then he said he has spent three weeks in hospital, lost his job, dropped 12kg of body weight, taken out a $20,000 loan to keep up with his mortgage, undergone surgery removing one quarter of his bowel and never drunk tap water again.

"I'm not okay. I'm never going to be the same again. It was a major disaster. It was a Third World country thing that shouldn't have happened," he said.

Hawke's Bay Today spoke to Mr Kelly yesterday after he was discharged from Hawke's Bay Hospital where he receives treatment for ongoing health issues.

His prospects for compensation after the gastro outbreak? Nil, he said.

"I can't see there being any compensation for anyone unless someone starts up something. It's just water under the bridge, they just want it to go away."

Mr Kelly said he's informed Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule "in no uncertain terms" exactly how he feels about his current situation.

"His heart isn't in it. He doesn't really give a **** about this outcome because he'll be moving on in a few months.

"I'm not the only one either. There are other people, like the elderly people that died, who are worse off than me," he said.

His situation was put to Mr Yule yesterday who said he had dealt with Mr Kelly before and was well aware of his situation.

"He's been badly affected by this and that's not lost on me."

Mr Yule said the Hastings District Council was in the process of working through options for those affected by the campylobactor outbreak.

However Mr Kelly said: "Lawrence, you don't get it mate."

He said he would feel differently if Mr Yule had been "compassionate and sincere" throughout the process, and added that compensation would be a step towards making amends.

"Monetary funds would definitely help in getting back on our feet again. But regarding health I'm always going to suffer."

Mr Kelly said he thought the council's attitude towards the outbreak was akin to the Kiwi saying of "She'll be right".

"They say it was a mistake, let's try to move on from this and for some people who can move forward it's okay but it's not that easy for others,

"It hit me for a six."

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