In February Suzi Merson's was life changed forever when a serious car crash left her barely alive.

The Havelock North woman suffered a dozen broken bones, internal injuries and a severe trauma that required one leg to be amputated below the knee.

Now her friends in Havelock North, where she had her framing business, are pulling out all the stops to help her in the next chapter of her life journey.

"Framed for Suzi" is a fundraising project that includes an art auction of 40 works with all proceeds going to Suzi.


Many of the artists that Suzi has worked with over the years, from all around New Zealand, have donated a piece.

Artists include World of Wearable Arts 2014 supreme winner Kate MacKenzie and Bridget Morrison. Local artists such as Richard Brimer and Rae West have also contributed.

The artworks will be sold via an online auction and under the hammer at a fundraising dinner at the Havelock North Function Centre on September 20. The auction dinner is a sell-out with more than 220 tickets snapped up.

Led by Havelock North business people John 'Mac' Macpherson and Aimee Stewart, Framed for Suzi is aiming to raise $50,000.

In addition to the art auction, many Havelock North businesses are running individual in-store raffles, with all proceeds going to Suzi as well.

John Macpherson said the decision to help Suzi was an easy one.

"She has been our business neighbour for years and, when one of the team falls, you do what you can to pick them up. This is one of those times."

Aimee Stewart was full of praise for the Havelock North community spirit.

"Everyone has pitched in to make this art auction happen. Wine and venue hire, art photography, printing the art catalogue and even building the auction website have all been done for free by local businesses wanting to do their bit.

"Hours of time have also been given to get this off the ground so it just shows how much Suzi means to the community."

In the midst of her recovery, Suzi had to sell her beloved Edges framing business. She now has her prosthetic leg and is practising on it; looking forward to a time when the wheelchair ramps up to the doors of her home can be taken away.

"I did think that I would be able to put the leg on and be walking straight away, but it is not as simple as that," she says.

Husband Rick is just very glad Suzi is still around.

"We so very nearly lost her; and I will never forget how hard everyone worked to save her. There were many times when we were super-scared."

A lucky break was that the Hastings fire crew was heading to a practice close to the accident scene and was there within minutes. With the amount of blood Suzi was losing from her severed leg, the family believe speed made all the difference and saved her life.

Suzi doesn't remember much from the accident but knows the emergency services and medical staff are the reason she is still here. As soon as she was able, Suzi and her family invited them to their home to thank them and show them she was on the road to recovery.

Suzi is determined to get on with life.

"This is just a bit of a detour in our lives - we are close to getting back on the main road again."

A GiveaLittle page has also been set up for Suzi and those wanting to donate can do so at

To bid in the online auction go to or follow on Facebook at