Ni­cole’s life trag­i­cally cut short by brain tu­mour

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

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.

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