Shortly after receiving the honour she fell asleep, and never woke up.
Listen: Sam describes the lead-up to Connie’s OAM honour. (Post continues after audio.)
“It was perfect. Every part of it was perfect. She heard every word. She heard not just from her family, but she heard from the government that she did put in a great effort… and that her work won’t be forgotten and will be continued,” Sam told Mia.
“She’s just overjoyed. The Governor-General left us alone for a while. We smiled and laughed and she fell asleep and never woke up.
“She went out on top.”
However, this “perfect” moment almost didn’t happen. Sam explained to Mia that a number of bureaucratic hoops were set up for them to jump through, but in the end, it came down to a decision by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove that made it all possible.
“So they rang on the Monday that she was becoming very chronically ill… and they were like ‘we’ve got to send some paperwork through and if you sign that and send it back’ and we’re like ‘man, she can’t sign shit’.”
Despite telling the person on the other line that it would be possible if they faxed the paperwork and then couriered it back, "the paperwork never arrived".
"The next day I'm thinking, 'Well forget about it. The OAM's not going to happen.' This is the day where she's going to fall unconscious."