Burger Burger founder Mimi Gilmour Buckley shares images of sick daughter in plea for public to get vaccinated

One of the country's major hospitality vendors has made a personal plea to the public to get vaccinated to protect vulnerable members of society and lessen the immense strain on hospitals. 

Mimi Gilmour Buckley, founder and creative director of Burger Burger and former co-owner of the Mexico group of restaurants, took to social media earlier this week to share private photos of her four-year-old daughter Olympia in hospital.

According to Stuff, Olympia has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy due to an unexplained in-utero brain injury, which causes her to require 24-hour care.

In a series of Instagram stories, Gilmour Buckley noted she'd tried to be "respectful" of other people's vaccination preferences, but said, "it's not about you anymore". 

"It's about all of us - the weak and strong, the healthy and not so healthy and the small business owners," she said. "It's about our collective mental health." 

Mimi GIlmour Buckley daughter in hospital
Photo credit: Instagram/@mimigilmourbuckley.

Gilmour Buckley revealed Olympia had spent several months over the winter at Starship with the deadly RSV virus and pneumonia, "struggling to breathe due to the crazy volume of contagious respiratory infections she was exposed to". 

"Starship had NO extra beds in the winter," Gilmour Buckley noted. "Wait until this gets out of control. Imagine having to fight for your child to have a bed in Starship." 

The mother-of-two also posted confronting images of her daughter suffering a dystonic episode; a series of involuntary muscle spasms. 

"Imagine watching your daughter's body uncontrollably spasm for weeks on end because her body is exhausted from being sick for so long," Gilmour Buckley wrote. 

She added in a "significantly less important" note the toll sickness had taken on the entire family, with both parents unable to sleep and being in a "state of stress for months". 

"I don't want to see my daughter get COVID ever. It will devastate her health forever," Gilmour Buckley wrote. 

"I will vaccinate her the minute I can and my entire family is vaccinated. Our alternative is to isolate from everyone.

"This is not about me or you anymore. It's about all of us. It's about a safer community. It's about a free life. 

Burger Burger founder Mimi Gilmour Buckley shares images of sick daughter in plea for public to get vaccinated
Photo credit: Instagram/@mimigilmourbuckley.

She also paid tribute to the struggling small business owners "beyond stressed" with continuing lockdowns. 

"Their mental health is at a crippling point, their livelihoods at a crippling point," she wrote.  

Gilmour Buckley told Stuff she wants people to realise that the vaccine offers a way out of life in lockdown.

"It's awareness. This is the way that we are going to live a free life, which we've all been so lucky to live up until this point," she said.

"Of course we all have the freedom to make our own decisions for our bodies but it's so much more than that now."

Earlier this month, Starship Hospital director Dr Mike Shepherd told RNZ Auckland hospitals were frantically preparing for an influx of COVID cases.

That included upgrades to intensive care, paediatric intensive care and maternity wards - doing work like improving ventilation or creating safe areas for non-COVID patients.

Under the scenario they think is most likely, there would be, on average, more than 1000 community cases a week, 33 hospital admissions and six deaths.