The cost of carelessness

Mum holds onto hope that her girl's life wasn't taken in vain

THE thought that a simple error of judgement stole her daughter’s future does not bring any solace to Kyneton’s Jodie Keast.

Rather, it’s the cruelest of fates.

Ms Keast says she finally knows what happened to her daughter, Courtney, at Lake Eppalock on January 10.

She wasn’t there herself - but police have told her who will be charged over her daughter’s death.

More than five months later, she is still waiting for the charges to be finalised.

"We know that someone is at fault... We know that someone's mistake took away one of the most important things in my life," Ms Keast said.

"But we're still waiting for charges to be laid. Until then, I'm holding this burden where I know who is at fault, but no-one else does.

"I can't really deal with it until it's out there, I can't get my head around it."

And for Ms Keast, as time goes on, the feelings of injustice deepen.

"I just seem to get angrier," she said.

"Courtney was perfect, she was just enjoying life and that's been taken from her - not through illness, but through someone making a mistake.

"I know  when the charges are laid it won't help - it'll probably make things worse (and) it's just another step we have to get through."

Ms Keast and her daugher Madi have moved into a new home, but haven't had the strength to move all of Courtney's possessions.

"We're getting there," she said.

"I know Courtney would have made a difference if she was still here and I want to do that for her.

"I want to keep her name going, I want to make a difference for her."

And she has.

Courtney's Quest - a Bendigo Advertiser campaign  which ran for four weeks - saw hundreds of people sign up for organ donation and a group of friends and family walked in Run for Children in April, raising more than $11,400.

"That's not all," Ms Keast said.

"We will keep finding ways to honour my little girl."

We know that someone's mistake took away one of the most important things in my life. - Jodie Keast

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