Despite her brain tumour diagnosis, 34-year-old Maria Edwards from Llangollen continued her love for Wrexham AFC and maintained her kind nature until the very end. Her parents, Mervyn and Olga Edwards, shared their daughter’s experience in the hope of helping others.
Maria’s Dad, Mervyn, described his daughter, “To really know my daughter; when she came across a problem, she faced it with dignity. That’s what happened when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It didn’t defeat her – she fought it as much and as hard as she could.”
When Maria’s illness developed and she required more assistance, she and her family sought support from Nightingale House Hospice. Olga explained, “Both of us have supported Nightingale House Hospice for years through their lottery – in dedication to my mother, who passed away in 1989.
On our first visit to the hospice, I could see how welcoming and comfortable it was.
A Passion that Never Left
When she came to stay as an inpatient, Maria was in the ward’s largest room, with a built-in hoist to help move her. She loved to sit in the doorway to the garden and look at the animals, the squirrels, and pigeons at the feeders. She even named the squirrels – Half Tail and Flopsy Mopsy.”
Thinking about the memories their family created, Mervyn remarked, “Olga and I could come to the hospice any time, day or night. But when Maria told me to ‘have a day off’, I knew she was in such good hands.
Maria’s Labrador Reg was able to come in, too! The first time, he jumped straight on the bed – and I remember shouting at her for him to get down – instead, it was me who got told off by the nurses! It was a little thing that meant so much to her, to cuddle her “little boy” again.”
Maria was a lifelong supporter of Wrexham AFC. Mervyn discussed their shared love for the local football club, “Our beautiful daughter Maria was a huge Wrexham AFC fan. It was my fault. As her dad, I’d drag her along to games, home and away when she was little – and created a passion that never left her.
“Despite what was happening, Maria’s love of Wrexham continued to be so important to her. The hospice team helped us to get her to that vital game against Oldham last April. The club arranged for her name to go around the pitch on advertising boards; she couldn’t believe it!
“We went down on the turf at the end of the game (5-1!), and she was presented with a pair of signed gloves by Rob Lainton, the goalkeeper. She was made up.”
A Wonderful Daughter
A week before Maria died, she saw Wrexham promoted. Mervyn commented, “The nurses helped, and we got her down to the parade in the town. She was singing her head off in the street. It meant such a lot to her.
“Her funeral was a sea of Wrexham red – and we all sang and danced to Proud Mary, Maria’s favourite song. It was a celebration of a wonderful daughter, a wonderful life.”
Both Olga and Mervyn appreciate the support they received from Nightingale House during an unimaginable time. They said, “We know that if we had to lose our precious little girl, there was no better place for Maria to be cared for than at Nightingale House. That’s why we’re supporting their appeal to create their new Inpatient Unit. It’ll make such a difference to those who need it during their own tough times.”
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