Thomas Kelly’s mother recounts his final hours: ‘He suffocated in front of us’


Summary

Revealing her torment: Kathy Kelly.The mother of Kings Cross assault victim Thomas Kelly has recounted in detail the final 48 hours of her son’s life, in a speech that left much of her audience in tears.
Nanjing Night Net

“The one thing they don’t tell you about when they finally do remove life support is how a person dies,” Kathy Kelly said at the launch of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.

“They took the ventilator away and Thomas suffocated in front of us. His heart was beating as strong as an ox and it just got slower and slower until he passed away.”

Mrs Kelly told a packed room at The Star on Wednesday that she knew when the phone rang on July 7 last year that the call had something to do with her son, who was 18 and on his first night out in Sydney when he was king hit in an unprovoked attack.

“As soon as they said it was St Vincent’s and Thomas had been assaulted I just threw the phone at [husband] Ralph … I don’t think we understood how serious the situation was. They were telling Ralph that we both needed to come to the hospital.”

When Mrs Kelly arrived with her husband, they found their son, “a beautiful young man, who was shy, independent”, lying in intensive care. A doctor told them it would take a miracle for him to survive.

“He was very cold, he had his head shaved and there was a very large bandage that said ‘no bone’ on the front of his skull. That’s a very confronting thing to see when your 18-year-old son is lying there and you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.

“We were told that we would have to turn off Thomas’ life support,” she said. “A lot of media said we made that decision but … we didn’t make that decision. It was made for us when Thomas was punched.”

Family and friends who came to the hospital left completely heartbroken, Mrs Kelly said.

“At the very final hours of the day, on a Monday, we gathered together, just the four of us, and we just said goodbye to Thomas in our own way. It’s hard enough for Ralph and I as Thomas’ parents, but for his brother and sister seeing their beautiful big brother die in front of them was a very difficult thing to face and I’m sure it will affect them for the rest of their life.”

The foundation aims to help curb the alcohol-fuelled street violence that robbed the Kellys of their son. It held the launch dinner to raise money for a package of programs to improve street safety at night.

The programs will be known as TK, for Take Kare (TK was also Mr Kelly’s nickname among his friends), and include additional CCTV cameras to be installed in the city and other areas after consultation with police, and the establishment of a “safe zone” in Kings Cross that will offer support services to drunk young people who may be at risk of crime as a victim or offender.

In his speech at the launch, Ralph Kelly said the judicial system also needed to change, to stop “hooligans and cowards” who king hit others from getting off with light sentences. The man who king hit Thomas Kelly that night, Kieran Loveridge, has pleaded guilty to his manslaughter.

Mr Kelly said he had attended a homicide victim’s support group meeting in June, at which 25 families were warned to lower their expectations of the judicial process.

“We were told that night we would not receive justice. If we could all walk away and know that we would be disappointed at the end of the process, then we would come out at the other end far better than we were that night,” he said. “To me that’s outrageous.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


Revealing her torment: Kathy Kelly.The mother of Kings Cross assault victim Thomas Kelly has recounted in detail the final 48 hours of her son’s life, in a speech that left much of her audience in tears.
Nanjing Night Net

“The one thing they don’t tell you about when they finally do remove life support is how a person dies,” Kathy Kelly said at the launch of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.

“They took the ventilator away and Thomas suffocated in front of us. His heart was beating as strong as an ox and it just got slower and slower until he passed away.”

Mrs Kelly told a packed room at The Star on Wednesday that she knew when the phone rang on July 7 last year that the call had something to do with her son, who was 18 and on his first night out in Sydney when he was king hit in an unprovoked attack.

“As soon as they said it was St Vincent’s and Thomas had been assaulted I just threw the phone at [husband] Ralph … I don’t think we understood how serious the situation was. They were telling Ralph that we both needed to come to the hospital.”

When Mrs Kelly arrived with her husband, they found their son, “a beautiful young man, who was shy, independent”, lying in intensive care. A doctor told them it would take a miracle for him to survive.

“He was very cold, he had his head shaved and there was a very large bandage that said ‘no bone’ on the front of his skull. That’s a very confronting thing to see when your 18-year-old son is lying there and you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.

“We were told that we would have to turn off Thomas’ life support,” she said. “A lot of media said we made that decision but … we didn’t make that decision. It was made for us when Thomas was punched.”

Family and friends who came to the hospital left completely heartbroken, Mrs Kelly said.

“At the very final hours of the day, on a Monday, we gathered together, just the four of us, and we just said goodbye to Thomas in our own way. It’s hard enough for Ralph and I as Thomas’ parents, but for his brother and sister seeing their beautiful big brother die in front of them was a very difficult thing to face and I’m sure it will affect them for the rest of their life.”

The foundation aims to help curb the alcohol-fuelled street violence that robbed the Kellys of their son. It held the launch dinner to raise money for a package of programs to improve street safety at night.

The programs will be known as TK, for Take Kare (TK was also Mr Kelly’s nickname among his friends), and include additional CCTV cameras to be installed in the city and other areas after consultation with police, and the establishment of a “safe zone” in Kings Cross that will offer support services to drunk young people who may be at risk of crime as a victim or offender.

In his speech at the launch, Ralph Kelly said the judicial system also needed to change, to stop “hooligans and cowards” who king hit others from getting off with light sentences. The man who king hit Thomas Kelly that night, Kieran Loveridge, has pleaded guilty to his manslaughter.

Mr Kelly said he had attended a homicide victim’s support group meeting in June, at which 25 families were warned to lower their expectations of the judicial process.

“We were told that night we would not receive justice. If we could all walk away and know that we would be disappointed at the end of the process, then we would come out at the other end far better than we were that night,” he said. “To me that’s outrageous.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.