ASB Good as Gold is an ASB initiative recognising, rewarding and helping wonderful people in our community. We ask the public to nominate people who are making a real difference in their community, have grabbed hold of life against the odds or who really deserve help in a time of hardship. The recipients are featured on TV One’s Seven Sharp programme.
When you need it the most, it’s truly a blessing to have the care and support of those closest to you.
In Feb 2016, Frank Nijssen was in a terrible biking accident that left him with a severe brain injury. His wife Pam has cared for him devotedly, and shown an incredible amount of love to her husband of 41 years. This ASB Good as Gold nomination is one way of saying thanks.
Frank was very fit, training for a triathlon and still working as a surveyor at the time of accident. The accident left him unable to do the most basic things. Learning to walk again is just one part of his remarkable recovery – but it’s not been easy.
His loving wife Pam was the first person that Frank saw as he woke up from his coma, and has been by his side the entire time. She stayed with Frank throughout his time in ICU, as well as flying up to the ABI clinic in Ranui to be with him, and keeping the whole family updated on his progress. After being discharged after seven weeks, Frank returned home under the care of Pam to recover at home. Her devotion to her husband through this tough time is something to be proud of, and is a story of true love. Through everything that’s happened over the past year, Pam has been incredibly caring and nothing has ever been too much.
Pam’s employer has also been hugely supportive, allowing her to cut back her hours and take Wednesdays off to help break up the week for Frank. While she has been the one by Frank’s side – it’s great to know there’s an entire community of friends, family and colleagues behind her.
Frank has made incredible progress since the accident, and is now able to spend some of his time at work – something they were told was not looking likely within the first year. His passion for fitness has been a huge benefit to his recovery, and he has pushed himself to get out into the fresh air of Havelock North. Frank’s determination, and Pam’s unwavering loyalty and support are remarkable.
We wish the Nijssen family all the best and have given the pair a luxury weekend at Trinity Lodge in the Hawkes Bay to spend some time relaxing. As well as this, we’ve given them $6000 in travel vouchers so that when Frank is well enough, they can take a trip to Australia to see Pam’s family.