Supportive swell buoys attacked teen

23:30, Jun 19 2012
tdn khali stand
STARTING AGAIN: Kahli Sutton, 17, is having to build her life from the ground up after being attacked during a robbery in Paraparaumu.

The heartfelt response to her story has overwhelmed New Plymouth teenager Kahli Sutton.

The 17-year-old was attacked during a robbery in Paraparaumu earlier this year, and now suffers frequent seizures and blackouts.

Kahli lost her job, her boyfriend, her flat, and has been told she can't drive.

Her story in the Taranaki Daily News yesterday prompted a huge response locally and nationally.

"I've had people texting and calling me that I haven't heard from since primary school. The response has been amazing," she said.

Scott Richardson, from the United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance in New Plymouth, got in touch with the Taranaki Daily News yesterday to offer Kahli a free membership to their martial arts facility.


"I feel that we are able to offer Kahli and her family a safe place to come and train, and move forward to deal with the physical, spiritual and emotional issues associated with the things happening in her life," he said.

A Rotorua man, who said he had been in a similar situation to Kahli at one point in his life, wrote the teenager a letter and enclosed a donation to help her get back on her feet.

He said he hadn't known where to turn to for help during his time of need.

"I remember those who did step in and lift me up when my head hung low meant so much.

"I just felt like I could help in a small way and that would make Kahli and myself happier."

Kahli appreciated the fact there had not been any negativity towards her about the ordeal.

"I was a little bit worried about it because I didn't want it to be a poor me kind of thing.

"But it's been really good and everything has been really positive."

She did however feel sympathetic towards her Kapiti Coffee House boss who had received negative feedback.

"He was actually quite amazing, and put in two grand worth of cameras for me. Me leaving that job was more of a mutual agreement because things weren't working out after it all happened."

Kahli said reliving and talking about the experience had helped her a lot.

"As much as it's hard and sucks to have to go through it again, talking to anybody about it feels like it takes a load off."

Mum Kelli said talking through it and receiving positive feedback had been like a counselling session for her daughter.

"Having the response from people just shows you there is something at the end."

Taranaki Daily News