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The Star: February 15, 2018

10 Latest Christchurch

10 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Thursday February 15 2018 News More work planned on unfinished Riccarton Rd upgrade • By Bridget Rutherford ANOTHER contractor is being sought to finish unforeseen work as part of the $8 million Riccarton Rd upgrade. City council transport planning and delivery manager Lynette Ellis said Downer had “completed the contracted works as agreed,” but unexpected additional work was required. “Due to a significant change in scope the council is discussing construction delivery methodologies with the wider contracting market.” It was not known how much extra the work would cost or timelines for it. Residents, businesses and commuters are fed up with the works, which started in September 2016 and were meant to be finished in September. The work was halted as a relief for businesses over summer. Ms Ellis said the next stage included a small section of underground pipe works around Harakeke St and pavement resurfacing from Darvel to Harakeke Sts. In Brief DERELICT PROPERTIES Richmond residents say landlords who live out of the city are not maintaining their properties. A meeting was organised between community members and business owners recently to discuss issues including overgrown gardens, property maintenance, litter and the general upkeep of the suburb. Richmond resident and business owner Hayley Guglietta is planning a wide-scale clean-up of the area and is hoping local businesses will help. WHEN CALEB Stewart’s mother suffered a horrific stroke “out of the blue”, he wanted to put his aspiration of becoming a top-level softballer on hold so he could take care of her and the family. But his mother would not let his dream die. Now Caleb, 16, has been named in the Emerging Sox, the under-17 national squad. Two years ago he almost gave the sport up to help his mother, Catherine Ackerley, 42, who was unable to talk, walk, drive or take care of herself after the stroke. “There was a moment where I thought I might quit (softball and school), get a job to help the family, but mum told me not to. She said it is your dream and you have to keep chasing it,” he said. In December 2016, Ms Ackerley was at home at about 10pm – three days before her 41st birthday – when something “just didn’t feel right.” “I managed to get up and have a look in the mirror and noticed my lip was slightly drooping, my speech was a little slurred and I was having trouble walking,” she said. “From there, things get really hazy.” She woke up in hospital a few days later unable to move or talk. She had suffered what doctors described as a rare stroke caused by a cavernoma, a cluster of abnormal cells usually found in the brain or spinal cord which can burst in someone aged 20-40. FAMILY BOND: Caleb Stewart with his mother Catherine Ackerley who suffered a serious stroke and almost died in 2016. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER “That is the simple version of what happened. It is inoperable,” she said. In the first few days, doctors wondered if she would wake up at all and, if she did, there was a good chance of brain damage, she said. Not willing to quit, Ms Ackerley woke up, started to speak, and found she had retained quite a bit of memory from before the stroke, surprising the doctors, she said. She spent about a year on rehabilitation, learning the basics again, and her progress meant she was able to head back to work, if only for six hours a week as an information technology technician in health care. Without the help of Caleb and his siblings – Amy Stewart, 13, and six-year-old Connor – she Local News Now Pitching in for mother Caleb Stewart never gave up on his dream of playing softball for New Zealand, even while helping his mother recover from a serious stroke. Andrew King reports The Star Fire rages, homes at risk said the task would have been too hard. “I am extremely grateful as it is a lot to ask of teenagers really and they have had to adopt a huge amount of responsibility,” she said. She still cannot drive as her eyesight prevents her from holding a licence. She is still weak on her right side and said her voice sounds strange in her head since the stoke. Caleb said he was just doing what any good son would – looking after his mum. He said when his mum first got sick, he didn’t know what was going on. “Life changed a lot for us. I had to do more around the house, get myself to training either on the bus or with a mate,” he said. “We are all working towards the same goal. But for me, I just have to work that much harder.” His dream is to play for New Zealand. He wouldn’t be the first in his family to fulfil such a lofty ambition – his uncle, Paul Ackerley, played right-half in one of New Zealand’s greatest ever field hockey teams, which won gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics when they stunned Australia 1-0. Caleb plays his club softball for Albion, in Upper Riccarton, in the middle in-field position. In 2016, he was a part of the under-15 Developing Sox team that went to Australia for the under-17 Queensland state championships. They came second to Logan City. He has also played for the Canterbury under-15 development team, Canterbury A under-15s, as well as the Canterbury under-17 and under-19 teams. The 25-man Emerging Sox squad will assemble from April 19-22 in Auckland along with the under-15 Developing Sox and will play a game against an Australian selection. DUE TO DEMAND EXPRESSION OF INTEREST NOW BEING TAKEN FOR VILLAS IN ALL STAGES THE WAIT IS OVER WORK HAS COMMENCED ON ROLLESTON’S FIRST RETIREMENT VILLAGE PROVIDING THE FULL CONTINUUM OF CARE BOULEVARDVILLAGE.CO.NZ | E: INFO@BOULEVARDVILLAGE.CO.NZ | PHONE KAREN: 0273 739 463

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