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‘City Hospice helped our family with care and compassion’

Gareth Lock drinking coffee on a family day out

A Cardiff family whose loved ones were cared for by City Hospice is supporting the charity’s Forever Flowers campaign this summer.

Forever Flowers is an award-winning, annual campaign which invites supporters to remember cherished family members, friends, colleagues and loved ones with a unique and lasting tribute. The limited edition flowers will feature in a special display in the grounds of Cardiff Castle from Saturday 5 to Sunday 13 August.

This year’s Forever Flower is a daisy.

This year’s flower is a daisy, which for many symbolises love, hope and new dawns, and the charity is inviting the public to dedicate a daisy to a loved one.

Kathryn Lock and her family will dedicate their daisies to her father Gareth Lock and mother-in-law Ann Evans.

Ann Evans with her beloved cat Dolly

Ann, a talented seamstress and animal lover, was diagnosed with vascular dementia in July 2020, while Gareth, a caring, family man who loved to play cricket and rugby, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in November 2022. Both were cared for by City Hospice at the end of their lives.

Kathryn said: “My fiancé Chris and I stayed with Ann at home following her diagnosis. Some days were harder than others, especially as she would be susceptible to infections. While caring for Ann, my dad unfortunately became unwell too.

“Dad had previously had a brain tumour six years ago which was removed successfully, and he was able to live his normal, retired life, enjoying time at home and on holidays with my mum. In November last year, he became disoriented again, couldn’t speak clearly and forgot how to do simple tasks. We were devastated when the diagnosis was confirmed.”

Gareth Lock with his wife Sheila on his wedding day

City Hospice’s nurses supported Ann and Gareth with specialist palliative care; managing their conditions and liaising with other healthcare professionals on their behalf.

Kathryn said: “As a family, we are so grateful to City Hospice for providing us with great nurses who constantly showed care and compassion. Eleri was incredible with Dad and when Clare visited us and Ann, it felt like a breath of fresh air. She was always reassuring and helped us understand and cope with the dying process.

“This was really important as we were able, with Clare and Eleri’s help, to honour Ann and Dad’s wishes for their deaths. Ann passed away at home in December surrounded by myself, Chris, her two beloved cats plus Rosie the Labrador and Meg the Cocker Spaniel, just as she wished for. When Dad passed away peacefully in February, again he was surrounded by family and love.

“Forever Flowers will be a wonderful way for us to come together as a family after a difficult few years, remember Ann and Dad and celebrate their lives.”