LIFE TRAGICALLY CUT SHORT
Nicole’s life tragically cut short by brain tumour
DR NICOLE Ellen Vacher was the dedicated, hardworking vet at Childers Veterinary Clinic.
She was the happy, smiling friend, a dearly loved daughter, sister, aunty, granddaughter, niece and cousin, and the devoted mum of little Madison.
The 37-year-old has left a huge hole in the hearts of many after her life was cut tragically short.
Surrounded by family and friends, on May 20, Nicole lost her long battle with a brain tumour.
Nicole Ellen Johannesen was born at the Gayndah Hospital on May 21, 1976, to parents Valerie and Allen.
In 1984 Nicole and her family relocated to Mount Isa, before again relocating to Roma five years later.
Nicole completed her schooling at Roma Middle State School and the College of the SouthWest, where she continued to shine academically.
She was a very strong, mature and sensible young lady who achieved so much in school alone.
Not only did Nicole excel at school, she was also a well-respected public speaker and thrived in debating, winning numerous awards for her efforts.
During high school, Nicole managed her studies while working at Woolworths and answering the phones for the family-owned taxi business most Friday nights.
Nicole was also a Brownie, Girl Guide and a Ranger, where she was awarded the highest accolade – the BP emblem.
The organ was another passion of Nicole’s, and she demonstrated enormous talent to co-ordinate her feet and hands to create beautiful music.
At home, she was a big sister and “second mother” to siblings Michelle and Megan.
In 1994, Nicole relocated to Brisbane to undertake her tertiary studies in Occupational Therapy at the University of Queensland, St Lucia campus.
After a year of university life, Nicole realised OT was not for her. Instead, the animal-mad young lady had a burning desire to become a vet, and turned to a Bachelor of Veterinary Science.
Throughout her studies, Nicole constantly strived to achieve results to the best of her abilities, and when holidays arrived, she would return home to help her parents run their business.
After five years of hard work, dedication and self-discipline, on December 6, 1999, Nicole graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science with first-class honours.
Upon graduation, she received an award for the best clinical article of the graduating class.
Nicole commenced work at the Childers Veterinary Clinic in January, 2000, and soon became a popular vet in the community.
Alongside her role at the surgery, she wrote papers that were published.
In July 2006, Nicole became a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in the area of Small Animal Medicine, which required a number of years of external study and qualifying examinations.
In October 2006, she purchased the Childers Veterinary Clinic practice, where she set out to educate herself in business management.
She also believed in investing in her staff’s self-development, and welcomed students for work experience, and trained and employed graduate vets straight from university.
On April 3, 2007, Nicole celebrated the arrival of her beautiful daughter, Madison.
But in February 2009, Nicole’s life was turned upside down. The young woman was faced with her biggest challenge in life when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Following major surgery, Nicole recovered with tenacity and showed the greatest strength of character returning to work and mothering Madison within several months.
Over the next four years, Nicole continued to front her health challenges head-on, enduring various medical treatments and procedures, all while still running the successful vet clinic.
In November 2012, news from the medical professionals was devastating – more intensive health treatment and procedures were endured with dignity by an amazing, strong woman.
By this stage, there was little choice but to sell the clinic as she focused on the battle for her survival.
But it was an impossible battle to win.
STRONG WOMAN: Veterinarian Dr Nicole Vacher during her last days working at the Childers Veterinary Clinic.
Dr Nicole Vacher at her graduation day in 1999.