Father’s emotional tribute after hostel stabbing
THE father of a Chilean backpacker stabbed in a Cairns hostel has issued an emotional tribute to the community which has thrown its support behind his only daughter.
Hugo Escudero arrived in the Far North last week, three days after 26-year-old Constanza, or 'Kuki, was allegedly stabbed by a cleaner at her Parramatta Park hostel.
She was lucky to survive the 8cm stab wound which was within millimetres of a major artery.
The Cairns community, including the tourism industry, has rallied to support the pair and today they took a trip on Skyrail to Kuranda.
Ms Escudero said she was excited to hold a koala at the Kuranda Koala Gardens and they will also visit Birdworld Kuranda.
Before getting aboard their Skyrail gondola Mr Escudero told the Cairns Post of his appreciation.
"It's so difficult to express the gratitude we have for everybody," he said.
"It's been wonderful, overwhelming.
"The care of the staff at the hospital, the kindness and professionalism of the police team.
"What can I say, it's unbelievable, and we're foreigners here."
He also paid tribute to Cairns businessman Martin Anton who launched a GoFundMe to assist Ms Escudero which has now reached more than $2000.
The pair are set to meet with Mr Anton later today to thank him.
Skyrail general manager Richard Berman-Hardman said they were happy to help.
"Cairns is a tourist destination and everyone who comes here is a guest in our region," he said.
"To think a guest of ours had to endure something like this is really upsetting.
"This is a small way to let Kuki know what Cairns is really about and I hope it goes some way to helping address what she went through."
The father and daughter are also set to have dinner at Laguna Tapas & Wine before Ms Escudero takes an Experience Co 30-minute helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef with GBR Helicopters later this week.
Support Mr Anton's GoFundMe page here.