Regan Opalinski was a fit, 35 year old mine worker in Kalgoorlie with one nagging problem, his back.
As all chronic pain sufferers will know, the problem is rarely isolated. The constancy of the pain wears you down, pervades your life and affects your sense of well-being and self-worth.
For Regan Opalinski, the chronic pain resulted in his company sending him home to rest and de-stress.
Delighted to be given the opportunity to heal, Regan decided to reconnect with one of his passions, dusted off one of his old motorbikes and took it out for a spin. But just 25 metres from the home he shared with his partner, Angie Whitehead, tragedy struck. Regan hit a tree and died instantly.
For partner Angie, one unexpected outcome of this terrible tragedy was the realisation of just how close knit and kind the Kalgoorlie mining community was. From the people on the scene immediately near their home, to the company that Regan and Angie both worked for – help came from all areas.
But it is one group that Angie credits as being the quiet angels, working in the background to take the stress away of dealing with the practicalities in the aftermath of such a tragedy. This group was Miners’ Promise.
Within days, a family liaison representative from Miners’ Promise was on the ground in Kalgoorlie, helping deal with the practical day-to-day chores Angie found almost impossible amidst the haze of her grief, like feeding the animals, changing the linen and cleaning the bathrooms to help out as relatives from other parts of the state arrived.
“Miners’ Promise was by my side from sun-up to sun-down,” said Angie. “I didn’t have to somehow find the money for Regan’s funeral; Miners’ Promise covered it for me. The flowers for his casket, the booklets, even the music and order of service was sorted by Miners’ Promise, once the family and I decided what we wanted.”
“While the hard times are still ahead … the hardship that I may have had placed upon me financially was taken away by the generosity and support of Miners’ Promise. I have been given time to grieve for Regan without the added stress of financial worry.”