HomeWorld NewsElla Cutler: GoFundMe seeking to pay for her return to Australia reaches its goal
Ella Cutler: GoFundMe seeking to pay for her return to Australia reaches its goal
September 17, 2023
A close friend of the police officer who was left clinging to life after falling from a clifftop wall in Croatia has expressed her gratitude to the thousands who donated to the fundraising effort to bring her home, with the campaign reaching its half-a-million dollar target.
Ella Cutler was on the final leg of her long-planned European holiday when she fell 10m at Pile Gate in Dubrovnik on August 26. She suffered horrific injuries, including fractures to her head, spine, limbs and ribs, which left her in a critical condition.
After her travel insurance claim was denied, her family was left to raise $500,000 to cover her medical bills and for an air ambulance to bring her home to Perth, setting up a GoFundMe page, which quickly attracted donations worldwide.
On Sunday morning, the fundraiser hit its target after just six days.
Speaking on Sunday, her best friend and fellow constable, Dani Morrison, said she wanted to say a “heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to bring Ella home”.
Const. Morrison said it had been “moving” to see so much money raised for her friend and colleague, who, before her accident, was due to start detective training on Monday.
“A few people to thank are our fellow members of the WA Police Force who have donated and shared Ella’s story with others, which has allowed us to get quite a reach,” she said.
“We’d also like to thank the broader community of WA, who has given back to a girl who has given the last six years to serving the community herself, which is just so lovely to see people thank her for that.
“And to the rest of Australia, and even overseas, there have been people who have donated, which is just heartwarming to see Ella’s story has really touched them.
“They’ve never met her, and they’ve still donated, so just thank you to everyone because the amount of donations has just been wonderful for her.”
Const. Morrison said she met Const. Cutler on the jo,b and she “quickly became my best friend”.
“She’s the most compassionate, empathetic, caring person,” she said.
“She’s selfless. Despite her age, she’s been a mentor in the job, and she’s a mum outside the job. She’s just a beautiful soul. She will do anything for anyone. She’s gentle, she’s kind, she’s an incredible girl.”
Const. Morrison said the situation had been “awful” for Const. Cutler’s family, friends and colleagues in the police force.
“I think everyone is hurting,” she said.
“I get countless messages from people that I don’t even know, but that know Ella and know that I’m close to Ella, and they all say that this is devastating and constantly reaching out to say ‘we are thinking of her, we support her’.
“I think everyone is just so touched by it and devastated that such an awful accident could happen to someone like Ella.”
Cons. Morrison said she speaks to Const. Cutler’s mother, Nicole, rushed to her daughter’s bedside daily and said she had been “incredibly strong and resilient” throughout the ordeal.
Const. Cutler had travel insurance with the RAC but was told they would not pay out her claim because she had been drinking. Late last week, Tokio Marine, which handled the assessment, said it was now “assessing an open claim”.
“There’s been challenge after challenge, not only with Ella’s health,” Const. Morrison said. “She got told at the beginning that she wasn’t going to survive, so to overcome that and then each and every day, Ella has improved.
“She (Const. Cutler’s mother) is just so overwhelmed with the support, and she can’t thank everyone enough for what they’ve done to help.”
Const. Cutler has been moved from the intensive care unit but remains in critical condition.
She has “many surgeries to undergo”, Const. Morrison said. “It’s going to be a long road, but she’s doing amazingly,” she said.
“She’s really fought hard, and that’s a testament to her strength.”
After Const. Cutler undergoes further surgery this week, the family is hoping to be able to bring her home as soon as possible.
Const. Morrison was asked what Const. Cutler would think about the huge rallying of support around her from across the State, country and the globe.
“I think she’ll be highly embarrassed, she’s not one for the public spotlight, she doesn’t ask for help,” she replied.
“She is so independent and resourceful herself, so she will be firstly, I think, horrified, but secondly, she will be forever thankful for the support.”
During the campaign, there have been several revelations about Const. Cutler’s connections to high-profile cases, including the unsolved disappearance of her aunt, Julie Cutler, in 1988, motivated her to join the force.
It was also reported Const. Cutler was the first heroic officer to attend the fatal one-punch attack on paramount nightclub manager Giuseppe ‘Pep’ Raco as he walked to buy a kebab in 2020.
Mr Raco’s widow, Enza, urged people to get behind the fundraising effort.
Const. Morrison said she had been sending videos to Const Cutler’s mum to watch in hospital. “I’ve been sending her videos for her mum to show her where I’ve been laughing, and I know she’ll want that, and she’s seen them and smiled,” she said.”
“She’s a happy girl, so she won’t just want everyone to be sad and cry, she will want everyone to also smile at all the good stuff that has happened as well.”
Premier Roger Cook on Sunday said: “All our hearts go out to first class constable Cutler, she’s a great member of our police force and I know people are working hard to make sure we can bring her home.”