After being airlifted to Waikato Hospital from the vehicular accident in New Zealand on May 12, Boston University School of Management junior Meg Theriault returned to Boston on a medi-flight, hospital officials said.
“Meg’s made huge progress and I think she’s further ahead than we thought she would be at this point,” said Grant Christey, a trauma specialist at Waikato Hospital in a hospital press release. “But she’s still got a long way to go.”
The doctors at Waikato Hospital have been in communication with doctors in the United States who will continue her “intense rehabilitation,” Christey said.
“With the support of her family, friends and some excellent medical care I think she’ll have an optimal medical recovery,” he said.
Theriault’s parents said in the statement that their daughter’s journey to recovery will continue in the United States.
“She’s a determined girl and as a family we’ll be here to support her,” Deb Theriault said.
Theriault’s parents said they are confident Meg will work to heal so she can finish her studies in SMG and one day return to New Zealand to complete the trip that ended abruptly one month ago across the Tongariro Crossing.
The crash in Turangi, New Zealand, left three BU students dead and five injured, including Theriault. The driver of the vehicle, Stephen Houseman, a junior in the School of Hospitality Administration, was convicted Wednesday, New Zealand time, of charges of careless driving causing death.
“The lives of all of the families of this wonderful group of young students were turned upside down and we continue to support each other as we move forward,” the Theriaults said in the statement. “It has been a much different journey than what these adventurous students had originally planned,” they said. “Our experiences have taught us to look at the world through very different eyes.”
There are no winners in a situation such as this one, Christey said.
“There’s tragedies all around and we’ve just got to make the best with what we’re left,” he said.
The Theriaults said the care, love and prayers from everyone at home and in New Zealand since the accident in May are what brought Meg home.
“There are too many special individuals to name,” they said. “As we land in Boston, we will be back with Meg’s extended family and so many of her friends that have sent their love and prayers to her from the other side of the world.”
Theriault’s “supportive and loving family” has really helped her progress, Christey said.
“She’s had posters at the end of her bed with all her friends and messages of support which I think she’s acknowledged, plus all of the care that she’s received, have given her the best chance of recovery possible,” he said.
The Theiraults said they were overwhelmed by the care from the staff at Waikato Hospital. “We just cannot find the words to thank the staff at Waikato Hospital and the wonderful Kiwis that have made us feel so welcome here,” they said.
The Theriaults have decided to not talk directly to the media and their daughter is declining interviews and photographs.