The mother of a young American backpacker who died in Dunedin
Hospital has given a series of her own etchings to the
hospital's intensive care unit.
Clare Wedding (24) died from meningococcal septicaemia in
She developed the illness in Queenstown, and fought it for
eight days in Dunedin Hospital before her death.
Her mother, Celia Wedding, a Californian artist, has given
the series of bird etchings entitled Bird Song.
Yesterday, the 14 works were hung in the corridor leading to
ICU clinical leader Mike Hunter said Ms Wedding's death
deeply affected staff, for whom her loss was ''particularly
''Some deaths are sad. Some are not. Sometimes you strike one
that's particularly tragic.''
Staff had been confident Ms Wedding would fight off the
''We thought we were winning,'' he said.
Mr Hunter has written a poem, For Clare , which will
be hung alongside the Bird Song series.
In an email to the Otago Daily Times from the United
States, Mrs Wedding said the professionalism, compassion and
consideration of ICU staff eased a very difficult time.
Mrs Wedding and husband Randy spent two weeks in Dunedin,
having travelled to be with their daughter when she became
''The series is of the small birds native to California that
I can see out my windows here on our hillside above the San
''During my stay in New Zealand, I was struck by how many
similar birds are shared by Dunedin and northern California.
''New Zealand is an ocean away, but my daughter was drawn
there perhaps not by the exotic, but by what we have in
''Her emails from the South Island reflected as much before
''It has been a great comfort to my husband and I that she
died among friends.''
Ms Wedding had studied the art of Oceania at the University
of California, Santa Cruz, which spurred her interest in
visiting New Zealand.
Clinical nurse specialist Linda Grady said Mrs Wedding also
sent etchings for several staff members as personal gifts.
The Bird Song series was framed in Dunedin, organised
by Mrs Wedding from her home in California, at no cost to the
Southern District Health Board art advisory committee acting
chairwoman Barbara Brinsley said the works were a significant
addition to the hospital's art collection.