Giant of Coast's art world fights life-threatening illness
SUPPORT is flowing for one of the region's most influential arts leaders as she battles a life-threatening illness.
Jane Caraffi, co-owner of Art on Cairncross, remains in an induced coma in the intensive care unit of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, battling what was believed to be a strain of meningitis.
Jane's husband, Tony Gill, remained at her bedside, awaiting further results to understand exactly what his partner was battling.
Jane had gone to the doctor late last week with severe sinusitis, having battled a cold for a week or so previously.
She was prescribed antibiotics and underwent tests before she was placed in intensive care over the weekend, where she remains in an induced coma.
Support has flooded in for Jane and Tony, the pair responsible for helping foster the growing arts scene not just in the hinterland but across the Sunshine Coast.
They have run art galleries for the past 25 years.
Tony said the support had amazed him, but it wasn't unexpected.
"Nothing surprises me about the love for Jane," he said.
"She's a giver.
"She's given a lot over the years and that love coming back for her is justified."
He said he was taking strength from the high level of care she was currently receiving and belief in the idea that "you get what you give".
Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance president Phil Smith said Jane and Tony had been two of the most consistent contributors to arts on the Coast.
"They're just one of the mainstay contributors that we need," he said.
"They give a lot because they're doing it all the time.
"They're really generous people and they're very much loved."
He praised their strategic involvement in the arts and said they'd been driving forces behind initiatives like the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board.
Big Kart Track owner, art collector and close friend Ferre de Deyne said he'd been "absolutely devastated" when Tony told him of Jane's condition.
"We all hold our breath and hope all the tests she's going through today are going to be more positive than the last couple of days have been," Mr de Deyne said.
"All my positive thoughts are definitely with her."
Support had also flowed on social media for Jane, while plenty were also sending well wishes to Tony, as he waited to learn more about his wife's prognosis.
"Don't write her off yet," Tony said.
"It's a rollercoaster."
He was busily keeping Jane's UK-based relatives updated of her condition, and he hoped to know more about her condition today.
"The intensive care unit guys are looking after her wonderfully well," Tony said.
"She has a wonderful amount of support and that's because you get what you give."