Stacee’s memory lives on

Stacee MacInnes had a beautiful smile and a bubbly personality – but to those who knew her at the Edithvale-Aspendale Netball Club that only made up a small piece of the puzzle of what made her so special. Stacee MacInnes was a friend to all, one that her second-oldest sister Caris describes as the ‘little... View Article

Stacee MacInnes had a beautiful smile and a bubbly personality – but to those who knew her at the Edithvale-Aspendale Netball Club that only made up a small piece of the puzzle of what made her so special.

Stacee MacInnes was a friend to all, one that her second-oldest sister Caris describes as the ‘little sister’ to everyone at the club.

It’s not surprising then to learn that Stacee’s closest two families – her mother and father and four sisters – and the community of the Edi-Asp Netball Club – would come together as one to remember a beautiful soul so sadly taken away on Sunday 20 March 2016.

Just over two years have passed since Stacee’s death, but her father Ross remembers like it was yesterday.

Ross, originally from Western Australia, was in Perth visiting his sick father when he received what at the time was an innocuous call.

“While I was in Perth I had a call from the family saying that Stacee was at a friends place and she had fallen over and broken her ankle,” Ross recalled.

“I remember it was February 16 and she had broken her right ankle in three places.”

Ross remained in Perth for a further two weeks, Stacee in Melbourne, on crutches, was recovering after her fall.

But it wasn’t until March 17 – more than a month after the initial accident that things started to take a turn for the worse.

Stacee slipped over in the shower that day and wasn’t feeling well, but recovered well enough to make the trip to Tylden – just outside of Woodend – with Ross and her sister Madison on Sunday 20 March.

The trio had arrived Tylden at 10.30am, and about an hour later Stacee yelled out to her dad.

“She was about 20 metres away from me, she yelled out ‘Dad’ – she had her crutches but she was shaking badly,” Ross said.

“I held her tight and she just collapsed in my arms. We tried to resuscitate her for 90 minutes but my 20-year-old girl died in my arms that day…it was every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Stacee died from a blood clot that had formed in her body – a result of the ankle injury – and found its way into her lungs.

“She had a bubbly personality with a really unique laughter, it was amazing, and she was much loved, we had more than 800 people at the funeral,” Ross said.

Among those in attendance were her friends from her second family at the Edi-Asp Netball Club, a club that has shown incredible consideration to the MacInnes family.

Club president Helen Hollis visited the family on the night of Stacee’s death and has since struck up a medal in her honour.

On Good Friday at Bonbeach, the club’s held a minute silence before the A Grade game in Stacee’s honour, players from both clubs wearing purple ribbons – Stacee’s favourite colour – with the Best on Court in A Grade being presented with the Stacee MacInnes Medal.

And the family…well they can’t thank the club enough.

“Being her family we obviously have our up and down days, but I thought everyone else would forget about Stacee over time and move on,” said Stacee’s mother Roslyn.

“But to have this game named in Stacee’s honour and to have a medal named after her is fantastic, it brings us all together and it’s just a wonderful gesture.

“It’s fantastic, all her friends played footy for Edi-Asp and the girls made so many friends through athletics, and they all played for the Aspendale Arrows, we’ve been heavily involved in the community.

“Everyone just loved her, she was the mascot, the glue for all the girls and her four older sisters. To see what the club has done for Stacee makes the family feel extremely special.”

Caris, the premiership captain of the club in 2015, said her sister Stacee was her biggest supporter.

“Every game I played Stacee was there was to watch, and even if I played bad she would encourage me and tell me I wasn’t the worst on the court,” she said.

“Having the medal named after her was really special and it brought me back to netball, I was happy with what I had achieved but Helen (Hollis) and the club have always been so supportive and it drew me back.

“It means a lot to the family. Stacee didn’t play herself but she was a big part of the club, she was a saint, so selfless, she did everything for everything else, and always spoke up for me. She would stand by her family and friends no matter what, she was everyone’s little sister…why does it always happen to the good people.”

AFL South East Media