Kara Davison, 30, had already postponed her wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, so when she and fiance Tom finally got to tie the knot two weeks ago, they were over the moon.
The pair, who have four young girls, were married at Tom’s parents’ place in Meeniyan, South Gippsland, Victoria on Saturday, July 3.
However, what followed turned the young family’s world upside down.
Two months before their long-awaited ceremony, Kara was complaining of a sore tummy, but had put it down to something she had eaten.
She continued to go about her days as normal, pushing aside the sore, bloated feeling.
But on the day of the wedding her situation worsened to the point that the mother-of-four was too sick to attend her own reception.
Family and friends began to worry, but not knowing what was wrong, an exhausted and unwell Kara just excused herself and spent the rest of the night laying on the couch.
Two days later when she visited her local GP, several tests and scans revealed the healthy 30-year-old had a hole in her bowel as well as bowel, lung and liver cancer.
“Kara is an incredibly healthy girl, she exercises, doesn’t smoke, she’s all about nutrition, and especially since having her twin girls [now two years old], she’s really looked after herself,” fellow school mum and friend Tamara Symington told news.com.au.
“So to hear what has happened is truly devastating and has come as a big shock to everyone,”
After the diagnosis, the young mum went in for emergency surgery to remove a large portion of her bowel, leaving her with a stoma bag.
She was then rushed to ICU due to low blood pressure and just six days after her wedding, a CAT scan confirmed Kara had cancer in her lungs and liver.
“They thought they removed the cancer from the bowel but it seems the cancer on her liver is the same one in her bowel, but different to the one on her lungs,” Ms Symington said.
Kara is still waiting on a treatment plan and will head back to the hospital, which is a 250km round trip, on Thursday where she is scheduled to undergo another procedure, this time on her lungs.
“They need her to be fully recovered before going ahead with this surgery and any other treatment which is hard to do when you have [two-year-old] twin children and a four-year-old and six-year-old daughter.
Ms Symington said during the whirlwind of this ordeal, Tom never left Kara’s side, sleeping in his car when he could not be with her inside the hospital.
“The girls are being cared for by Kara’s parents and her siblings,” Ms Symington said.
And while Tom cannot be everywhere at once, he is planning to take six months off work to care for his wife and children.
“This will bring added financial hardship to the family along with the upcoming medical bills that undoubtedly will arrive,” Ms Symington.
It is why she – together with three other school mums – have started a GoFundMe page in support of the family with just over $44,000 raised so far.
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“We all have kids in the same year as Kara and Tom’s eldest daughter and we just wanted to help because never in a million years would they ever ask for any,” Ms Symington said.
“They’re a humble, well-respected family and this is such an enormous thing to go through.
“As we live in a rural community, everyone has rallied together and the response has been absolutely beautiful.”
After hearing the heartbreaking news, the small, regional town, rolled up their sleeves to help support the Davison family in any way possible.
So far, they have set up an already paid for an account at IGA, supplied petrol vouchers and perhaps most extraordinarily, having created a daily, rotating roster to provide the family with fresh meals every day, for as long as they need it.
“The outpouring of local support has just been amazing and Kara said they’re just so absolutely overwhelmed and grateful for everything.”
Ms Symington said by taking the financial burden away, this will allow Tom to support his family and focus on getting Kara well.
“(And) for her to continue to be the amazing mother to their four beautiful little girls and wonderful loving wife to Tom.”