Esperance community thanked by family of five

A family faced with tragedy has thanked the Esperance community for its support during their time of need.

Fifty-two-year-old Esperance resident Tony McDonald was driving his four-wheel-drive on May 25, 2019 when he had a seizure and crashed.

Tony had had brain tumours removed just before his family moved from Queensland to Esperance in 2014.

He had seemed healthy after the surgery, but a medical assessment following the crash found tumours in half of his brain. Doctors only gave the father-of-three months to live and the McDonalds moved back to Brisbane last week to spend time with family.

Tony's wife Irma said the whole Esperance community had shown incredible support.

She expressed thanks to witnesses at the scene of the crash and the ambulance and hospital staff who treated her husband afterwards.

Following the crash, the McDonalds continued to receive help from locals and local businesses.

Irma said travel agency Hello World went above and beyond to make sure the family had connecting flights, access to a wheelchair and support with terminal transfers and baggage.

She said her former colleagues at Population Health helped the family hold a big garage sale to sell their stuff.

Two of Irma's former co-workers set up a Go Fund Me page, raising more than $6,000, mostly from Esperance community members, which meant the family could keep some of their belongings. She said JJ's Holiday Cottages gave the family free accommodation while they packed up their house, while residents had offered their sheds as storage space.

Tony and Irma's three boys, Hayden, Joshua and Lukas, attended Castletown Primary School. Irma said the school was "amazing".

"The school was so understanding with the time they had to take off and sent them school work so they wouldn't fall behind," she said.

Other instances of support the family received included help from neighbours in mowing their lawn and one community member who drove their car up to Norseman so the freight to Brisbane would be cheaper.

"We can just rest now and enjoy time as a family," Irma said.

"The community made what was potentially a traumatic situation bearable."

Tony said he could never express enough gratitude and remained positive despite his prognosis.

"I don't know what's going to happen with me, but we're going to stay very positive and hopefully I'll kick around for a good while yet. That's the plan," he said.