AFTER a horrific ordeal more than a year ago, the Gorler family received a helping hand from organisers of the Tannum Crab Classic.
The annual fundraiser, in its fifth year, raises money for a local child who is disadvantaged.
Anika Gorler, 21-months, has cerebral palsy.
Father Jason Gorler explained what happened in their home one night.
"We checked on Anika, and she had rolled over in the cot but she positioned herself so she wasn't breathing," he said.
"We went straight into resuscitating her and the ambulance arrived quickly.
"She started having seizures from a lack of oxygen and she was rushed to Brisbane in the Royal Flying Doctors."
Mr Gorler drove to Brisbane while his wife, Sunny, flew with Anika.
"She was in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and on all these machines. We heard she wasn't going to make it, and we turned off the oxygen and were told she would either survive or not," Mr Gorler said.
After weeks of being in palliative care little Anika went from strength to strength and eventually the family were taken back to Gladstone.
A year on Mr Gorler said they closely monitor her as she continues to impress physio and speech therapists.
They have been chosen as the beneficiaries of funds raised at this year's Tannum Crab Classic.
Mr Gorler was overwhelmed by the news given from Tannum Crab Classic committee member Ernie Vaughan.
"It was totally out of the blue and unexpected," he said.
The family who hailed from Brisbane were thankful for the whole Gladstone community.
Money raised will go towards purchasing equipment such as a swing, wheelchair, and sensory play toys.
Mr Vaughan said he hoped to raise as much as possible for the family.
"We know children across the state need money and help but we're looking after our own at the moment," he said.
"The guys feel really good about doing this; it gives you a sense of worth."
- Raffles, a crab auction and race and fundraising activities will be held at the Tannum Sands Hotel at 2pm this Sunday.
- Up to $1500 worth of prizes are up for grabs.
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