A BRAVE wife and mother put her fears for her husband’s health to one side to hold a fundraising event for a local hospice.

Dr Gulia Karimova-Hildreth organised a 70th birthday party for her husband, Professor Tony Hildreth, after he defied doctors to reach the milestone.

Prof Hildreth, a former policeman and medical researcher, was diagnosed with an incurable brain cancer two years ago and has since been a patient at St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in Durham.

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In recent months, Dr Karimova-Hildreth, who teaches medicine at Sunderland Royal Hospital, has seen her husband’s health rapidly deteriorate – yet despite this, she wanted to do something positive by raising money for the hospice.

She invited family and friends for a meal at Prof Hildreth’s favourite restaurant – Naz Haven, in Fencehouses – and raised £610 through their donations.

Dr Karimova-Hildreth, 40, who lives in Houghton-le-Spring and is originally from Uzbekistan, said: “When Tony had his last CT scan, the doctors suggested he wouldn't live until Christmas.

“It was a miracle that he was able to celebrate his 70th birthday. We never thought this day would come and never thought this would be possible.

“Tony goes to St Cuthbert’s Hospice every Tuesday, where he gets to chat to other patients and nursing staff. All the staff involved are very kind and lovely.”

She added: “I thought that instead of presents, people could give donations, so I thought we could invite more people.

“I’m pleased we did it. I do believe it was good for Tony and it was a big celebration.”

Among the guests were the couple’s children, Aziza, eight, and two-year-old Max; who enjoyed an Indian buffet hosted by Naz Haven owner, Ahmed Bashir.