Oakey water contamination: Couple ask questions after woman gets mystery liver illness

by Rhian Deuton, originally posted on May 30, 2016


A COUPLE are seeking answers from the Defence Department after a mystery liver disease resulted in the woman losing 40kg in two years.

Tim and Cherryl Welsh lived at Oakey on the Darling Downs for five years until Mr Welsh was transferred to the Williamtown RAAF base in NSW.

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The couple were posted back to Oakey and now live in Jondaryan, 15km from the Oakey Army Aviation Centre.

During their time in Oakey, the family regularly bathed in bore water and also used it to fill a swimming pool for their children.

Two years ago, Mrs Welsh, 47, was rushed to hospital where doctors found she had the liver of a “70-year-old ­alcoholic” but were unable to determine the cause.

They recommended a gastric bypass.

“My wife now weighs just 45kg and is so unwell her body can absorb only 10 per cent of what she eats,” Mr Welsh said.

“She has had every test done just to find out what was causing problems with her liver and it has done irreparable damage.”

The couple had heard about water contamination in both Oakey and Williamtown and now believe there is a strong case linking Mrs Welsh’s serious health condition with chemical exposure.

Mr Welsh said his step-daughter also had developed thyroid issues in recent years.

“I just want answers to help my family,” he said.

Despite being contacted several times by The Courier-Mail, Defence did not respond before deadline.

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