Memory of ‘perfect’ Lockie strong in wake of coroner’s report

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Mel Hernaman is trying to find the "new normal" after the sudden death of her son Lockie in April.
Camera IconMel Hernaman is trying to find the "new normal" after the sudden death of her son Lockie in April. Credit: Harvey Reporter, Jacinta Cantatore

Harvey mother Mel Hernaman said she was coming to terms with the “new normal” after a coroner’s report into her son’s death ruled there was no known cause behind the tragedy.

Her son, 20-year-old Lachlan “Lockie” Hernaman collapsed on April 30 during a routine training session with the Harvey Bulls.

Teammates and club representatives performed CPR until ambulance crews arrived, but nothing could be done to save him.

Last month the State Coroner investigating Lockie’s sudden death ruled there was no ascertainable cause.

“I was devastated not to get a clear answer,” Ms Hernaman said.

“It wasn’t really what I wanted to hear.

“I wanted to get an answer because obviously something happened.”

Some relief came when a St John Ambulance officer from Perth reached out and made contact with Mel after the coroner’s report was released.

The officer brought printed read-outs taken of the defibrillator used on Lockie.

Ms Hernaman said having someone sit down with her and explain how it all worked gave her more of an idea of what happened, even if there were no definitive answers.

“He reiterated that the people who worked on Lockie at the footy club that night did everything they could,” Ms Hernaman said.

“They were spot-on with absolutely everything they did and I can never thank them enough.

“There was nothing that could have been done to save him.”

Ms Hernaman said she had her dark days, but every day she remembered how lucky she was to have a son as “perfect” as Lockie was.

“I know he didn’t suffer and he lived his life to the full every day.

“He made so many friends and everyone has so many good memories about him.

“He was born at just 27 weeks and fought hard to live so I am grateful he had 20 good years of living.

“Every day I had with him was a blessing,” she said.

“He was too perfect for this world.”

Despite the inconclusive report, Ms Hernaman said she had found some relief and closure thanks to support she received from friends, family and even strangers.

“I have been overwhelmed by the love and support from the community,” Ms Hernaman said.

“Not just from Harvey, but from many people from all over WA, the WA Country football and AFL clubs.

“Random acts of kindness from complete strangers is just beautiful. Some things have just melted my heart.”

Ms Hernaman said she thought about Lockie every day and knew what he would want her to do.

“Lockie would not have wanted me to put my life on hold and be miserable,” she said.

“I am living life day by day and creating the new normal with Lockie by my side all the way.”

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