AN artist has created a drawing inspired by the hospice which cared for her father on his final day.

The intricate design of a tree and some of the wildlife which can be seen at St Cuthbert’s Hospice was drawn by Olywn Reece, from Carrville, Durham, as a thank you for the care given to her father, Ralph Reece.

Mr Reece, a former draftsman, was cared for at St Cuthbert’s for just one afternoon in January 2019 before dying at the age of 88.

Ms Reece said: “I had heard a lot about St Cuthbert’s from my friend of over 30 years, Lynne, who is a nurse at the hospice. So I had built a picture in my head of how it looked already from the wonderful descriptions I had heard over the years. However, that didn’t stop me feeling anxious when my dad was admitted, but I needn’t have worried – the hospice was just as Lynne had said it would be.”

“She had told me about all the animals that can be seen in the hospice gardens and I couldn’t believe it that all these animals were there that afternoon when dad was admitted. A squirrel came up and peered through the window to greet us. It was quite magical.”

The Northern Echo:

Ralph Reece, who was cared for at St Cuthbert's Hospice for an afternoon in January 2019

“It was a world away from the hospital and as soon as we arrived my dad was tucked into a bed with a duvet and pillows. He was so relieved to be at the hospice and was soon made comfortable and free from pain. He actually asked for a copy of the Northern Echo for the following morning. Sadly he just drifted off to sleep and passed away later that day.”

She added: “I wanted to create a drawing as a gift to say thank you for the wonderful care we all received, albeit just for one afternoon. I spent just over two weeks creating the drawing and it really helped me to heal.

"My Dad was a Draftsman and growing up my brother and I would sit either side of his chair as he drew things around the outside of the crossword in the Northern Echo. The drawing seemed fitting to donate to the hospice in his memory.”

The artist spent just over two weeks creating the drawing, which will hang in the patient lounge. The hospice also plans to use the design on its bereavement cards.

Colleen Bell, senior nurse, said: “We are so grateful to Olwyn for her kind donation of this beautiful artwork. It perfectly captures the wonderful surroundings here, the beautiful views that each of our in-patient bedrooms enjoy and the wildlife we are so lucky to see on a daily basis.”