Kim's Story - As Told by her Parents Allan and Jill
By Allan and Jill
Our eldest daughter, Kim Goodwin, was involved in the Endometriosis Association of Queensland, first as Treasurer, and then as President for many years, before sadly passing away in 2006, aged 38. Even after all these years, it still hurts a lot – especially with her birthday and anniversary. She would have been 50 last November, a milestone never reached. No parent should ever have their child pre decease them! Kim suffered chronic period pain and terrible symptoms since her early teens, and was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis aged 29, after a lifetime of being told it was all in her head! It is a most aggressive and debilitating disease facing women today. She once wrote an article in a magazine with the heading, “I use 60 pads a day!”
Through the Endo Association, Kim formed many amazing close friendships – in particular, Darlene Scott & Bronwyn Biddulph, who have both kept in touch with us over the years. The committee used to meet regularly in our home at Tarragindi. We both feel we contributed a lot in the early days with our support, not only for Kim, but all the other members who became part of the “Goodwin Family!” Allan was renowned for his bright red and blue teddy bear pyjamas when the members met in our home. Kim & Darlene gave them to him for Father’s Day.
We both helped Kim with her many fundraising events, including the many trivia nights held in our church hall, for no rental fee. As Kim was unable to obtain a driver’s licence due to being prone to epileptic type fits, she relied on us for transport as well as taxis & buses. We attended many seminars & coffee get togethers in support of new enquirers and their families. The highlight for us was the Endo Gala Ball & Dinner Auction, with TV guest panellists – Cornelia Francis and Paula Duncan who was patron of the Association, and who came to our home to meet with Kim. For these occasions, Kim approached many companies and celebrities for fantastic prizes from John Travolta and John Farnham, with autographed items from Cathy Freeman & The Broncos. ‘Holeproof’ had donated a huge pile of undies for the ‘No Knickers’ Ball, and Kim even had Anthony Warlow sign a G-String for the occasion.
Kim accompanied Dr Susan Treloar from QIMR (Qld Institute of Medical Research) Endo Research to Melbourne to appear on the Bert Newton Show “Good Morning Australia”, where she was frustrated because he had great difficulty pronouncing “Endometriosis”. Our younger daughter, Susie, attended QIMR for a sister’s research study with Kim. Kim managed to conduct many video presentations at high schools, and attended and organised many seminars. To many, she was the first point of contact, being on the pager phone support 24 hour on call service, which is still ongoing. She offered support, understanding and compassion, utilising her knowledge of the disease to assist other women suffering from Endo. She had an amazing ability to listen to others, when she herself was extremely unwell, putting others before herself.
Kim’s mental well being was compromised to such a degree after a bank robbery – the post card bandit – at her first bank job, that she was admitted to Belmont Private Hospital for a while under psychiatric care. As parents, we felt quite helpless, especially as with the increased pain she suffered from undiagnosed endometriosis over the years, she tried to suicide several times. This had a traumatic affect not only on us, but on her younger brother & sister. Kim had two broken engagements in her late teens & early 20’s - she would have made someone a wonderful wife.
Kim was single and still living at home with us, when she had a colostomy operation at the Wesley Hospital, as the endometriosis has spread to her bowel & the pain was unbearable. The operation was successful, and she was due to come home, when we received an urgent phone call to say Kim was in a coma in ICU. Because they had not drained her, she aspirated into her lungs & died. We had to make the heart wrenching decision to turn off her life support machine. The locum doctor admitted he had made a mistake. Allan wanted to punch his lights out!! One good thing came from it, in that a policy was put into place that all future patients were to be automatically drained. Two nurses had to be counselled over it, and we were interviewed by the hospital hierarchy twice. Susie was a great tower of strength to us both at this sad time.
We were both thrilled to make contact recently with the present President of QENDO, Jessica Taylor, who informed us that their library is named the Kim Goodwin Library. We were thrilled to hear that! Jessica gave a wonderful presentation to our Rotary Club of Redland Sunrise recently, where, as President, Allan presented her with a $250 cheque for the development of the Educational Toolbox for schools. We have since seen the memorial plaque and machine dedicated to Kim at QIMR Berghofer, a legacy from Kim for outstanding work in fundraising. They told us the value of this machine was $75,000. It was a very emotional time for us, especially as they took a photo of us holding the plaque in front of the machine! We are still in contact with Dr Susan Treloar, now retired, who worked tirelessly for Endo research there.
Eight years ago we retired to Victoria Point in a retirement village with a water view and no steps. We both feel very privileged to have played a small part of QENDO, and are astounded how far it has progressed since our involvement.
We certainly still miss our dear Kim, and very often still have tears for her, but we are so thankful for the legacy she has left with us.
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