Mum’s dying wish granted
THE SMELL of spring rolls and sound of laughter over the dinner table will forever remind Alisha Nieling of her mum, whose "cheeky" memory will live on in the lives she's touched.
Townsville mum Paris Baccam, 50, lost her battle with colon cancer in the early hours of Thursday morning with her husband and youngest daughter by her bedside.
Paris faded away peacefully just hours after her parents, John and Anna Williamson, were granted a final reprieve from hotel quarantine at Brisbane, pushed for by the Townsville Bulletin, to say their last goodbyes.
Ms Nieling said it was a bitter sweet moment for her grandparents, who got to spend 30 minutes at their daughter's bedside in full PPE before being ushered back into quarantine.
"Mum faded away peacefully … dad gave her a kiss and just watched her breathing slow to a stop," she said.
Paris, a mum of three, fought a short but tough battle with cancer after she was diagnosed in January.
She faced adversity, forced to quit her job as a driver trainer and endure surgery, but the "stubborn" mum was determined to fight the illness.
Paris was winning her cancer battle for many months, enjoying life at home with her family when doctors told her things had declined.
Paris was given months to live, then weeks, then finally just hours, until she passed away this week.
Ms Nieling said her mum's kindness and "extroverted" attitude would be missed most.
Paris grew up in Sydney after her family left Laos when she was five years old to flee the Vietnam War.
Growing up as an immigrant child was hard, but it all changed for an 18-year-old Paris when a man at Central Station in Sydney caught her eye.
"Dad saw her across the station and decided he had to catch whatever train she was on," Ms Nieling said.
"He ended up going two hours in the wrong direction just to speak with her."
Their love blossomed into a family of five and they moved to Townsville 16 years ago where Paris started working as a driver trainer.
"She used to say she was a local celebrity because she taught half of Townsville how to drive."
The "rev head" was also a brilliant cook, often roping in Ms Nieling's friends to stay for dinner and cook her signature Asian cuisine.
"She was such an entertainer … everybody had a place at our table, she would bend over backwards for you."
"We will miss her so much."
Her family had set up a GoFundMe page to help cover some funeral costs.
You can donate here.
Originally published as Mum's dying wish granted: Family farewells Paris