Medical-bill donations top R150 000 within days of attack in Schoenies
More than R150 000 has been collected in less than three days by Port Elizabeth residents wanting to foot the almost quarter-of-a-million-rand hospital bill for Elaine Allwright, who was brutally attacked on Tuesday morning.
Donations have been flooding in for Allwright, 78, as she recovers at St George’s Hospital.
According to family member Sandy Stock, the hospital bill is sitting at about R235 000.
In the attack, Allwright’s partner Ken Alexander, 76, was so badly mutilated that police initially thought he had been shot. However, postmortem results indicted he died from blunt force trauma to the head and face.
By yesterday, the Schoenmakerskop Ratepayers’ Association had collected about R100 000.
More money is set to be made through the sale of a collection of pieces by internationally renowned artist Greg Kerr, 68.
Kerr, a close friend and neighbour, said the collection of 40 oil paintings, entitled Remote Associations, had sold like hot cakes yesterday, with 25 already bought, for R2 000 each.
This was within two hours of the artwork being posted on the Friends of Schoenmakerskop Facebook page.
“The collection is basically a visual representation of my thoughts throughout my life,” Kerr said.
“I decided to sell them to assist in this difficult time. And I wanted people to have something to remember Ken by – they truly are salt-of-the-earth type of people.”
The collection of 150mm x 150mm paintings was painted over three years, and formed part of a wider collection of about 250 paintings which have been displayed and sold at several national galleries over the same period.
“Their usual sale price is R3 500 but the initial figure we got for Elaine’s admission bill was R84 000 so we decided to sell them at R2 000 each.
“The community has really come together for them [victims] because they were the glue which held this community together.”
Stock said Allwright was recovering slowly but still had to undergo X-rays and CT scans.
“This is to determine whether surgery will be needed to remedy the fractures to her skull and bleeding on the brain,” she said.
“She is by no means out of the woods, as doctors have told us with bleeding on the brain things can turn at any time. But she is stable and remains in the intensive care unit.
“The generosity of the community has been incredible, I can’t believe how people have come together to help her through this terrible ordeal – it is so inspiring.”
Schoenmakerskop Ratepayers’ Association chairman Andre Lemmer said: “Last I checked, we were about halfway to the estimated amount. It really is fantastic to see the generosity of the people and their willingness to help.”
Local musicians have also banded together to assist Allwright with the release of the song He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.
Producer and Ocean Rock Entertainment owner Francois Malan said the song was meant to be released in December but this was moved forward to support Allwright.
“This song originally written by The Hollies is about helping one another through the trying times. My mother stays in Schoenies so when we heard about this it really hit home.
“The artists thought it would be a good way to contribute, especially while it is so fresh in everyone’s minds. The song is on the Ocean Rock Entertainment Facebook page, with a link where people can go to donate.”
Following the brutal attack, Schoenies resident Martin Weihs also paid R30 000 for Allwright to be admitted to hospital.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said there had been no new developments in the hunt for suspects.