Race against border closure leaves Lismore woman stranded
A LISMORE resident in need of surgery in Queensland has been forced to wait for her procedure in Queensland for two weeks, away from her family and friends.
Business owner Mariska Pinkerton moved to a motel before the Queensland border lockdown came into force, so she would be ready for her surgery.
Mrs Pinkerton said she had to leave behind her husband and teenage daughter as information about the border lockdown did not allow people in her situation much time to ponder the options.
"I travelled to Queensland to wait for two weeks, that's the decision that I made, so here I am," she said.
"I would have preferred to be at home, but I understand."
Although the surgery is not to save her life, Mrs Pinkerton said it will definitely improve it drastically.
"This surgery will allow me to walk better," she said.
"Currently, I can't walk very well. This is affecting my ability to do things.
"One of those things is dancing. I am hoping once I heal up I will be able to dance again and have a normal life."
Mrs Pinkerton said she found there was a lot of people from Northern NSW rushing to beat the border closure who have been stuck in Queensland all this time.
"When I tried to book accommodation, I was told there wasn't that many left because a lot of people rushed up," she said.
"I had to pick up accommodation in a hurry.
"There is another person at this motel also waiting for surgery up here."
Mrs Pinkerton is trying to work our how is she going to be able to return to NSW.
"I won't be able to move my leg so I won't be able to drive back," she said.
"My husband can't cross the border to get me, so we are trying to figure out what to do."
Besides her family, business and work commitments, Mrs Pinkerton is well-known in Northern NSW as the main organiser of the NCEIA Dolphin Awards.