Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Rare Illness Strikes Local Dad On Life Support

Since November last year Collinsville local, Daniel Honnery, has been on life support at Mackay Base Hospital after a rare illness caused his body to completely shut down.

Daniel has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a severe and life-threatening neurological disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves.

He is experiencing what’s known as ‘locked-in syndrome’ where he is cognisant but unable to communicate. Over the months he has been able to open his eyes and can talk in a very soft whisper, but he is unable to breathe independently.

Guillain-Barre syndrome can take as long as two years to recover, and survivors often experience long-term side-effects.

This means Daniel has a long road ahead and the support of his family and the community is paramount.

Every day his girlfriend sits by his side and his parents, daughter and sister visit as regularly as possible.

His sister, Shannon Honnery, said “he is getting great care” at Mackay Base Hospital and that “they’re looking after him really well”.

Meanwhile, the community and family are rallying around to help.

There will be a multi draw raffle at the Collinsville Workers Club on Friday 19th July where stubby coolers and bumper stickers will also be for sale.

In addition, the Collinsville Bacon Busters event, which Daniel usually attends every year, is donating all the gate fees to help his recovery.

A GoFundMe Page has also been set up for Daniel and so far, $13,495 has been raised out of a $50,000 target.

On the page, friends speak of Daniel’s incredible personality and how much he is loved by those that know him.

“Daniel is an adventurous soul with a heart of gold, known for his lively and fun-loving nature,” it reads.

“He's the kind of guy who lives and breathes pig hunting on his days off, often with his daughter and mates.

“It’s almost certain that you'll find him getting bogged in some remote bush location, embarking on wild missions, or participating in light-hearted debates over a game of pool to determine whose dog reigns supreme.

“His unique talent lies in bringing people together and his contagious laughter is a constant source of joy wherever he ventures.”

In the run-up to the tragic diagnosis, Daniel had COVID and he thought it was taking him a long time to recover before he felt dramatically worse and was subsequently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

His sister, Shannon, said that prior to COVID you would only hear of one case every 10 years in the country.

“Since COVID came around, they’ve had four just in Mackay,” she expressed.

While there is no proven link, this connection does seem to signify there might be more to the story.

Daniel Honnery and his daughter in happier times. Photo supplied

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