Keira, or Kiki as she likes to be known, has been visiting Hope House since she was a baby with her mum Teresa and dad Dylan. She was born with a condition called Agenesis Corpus Callosum, which affects her mobility and her ability to talk and means she needs 24/7 care.
Kiki’s visits to Hope House give her the chance to have fun with other children, playing and painting and, in particular, enjoying making music. The visits also gave Teresa and Dylan a chance to recharge their batteries.
Like many Hope House families, the Thomas’ love giving something back and helping to raise money to keep Hope House’s vital services running. Last Autumn, Teresa started a new event for Hope House – the Welshpool Canal Walk, rallying all her friends and family to help and raising more than £5,000.
She was also looking forward to giving her first speech on behalf of Hope House at the Shropshire Gentleman’s Club Valentine’s Ball. Nervous but very excited, she had bought a gorgeous new dress in her favourite colour, red.
Three weeks before the Ball, Teresa and Dylan began the day as usual by getting Kiki ready for school. Dylan went off to work on an early shift and a minibus came to pick up Kiki.
Tragically when Dylan returned home that afternoon he found Teresa had died suddenly during the day of a massive heart attack. She was just 42 years old.
Hundreds of friends and family wearing ‘a splash of red’ packed into the church for Teresa’s funeral service and Dylan ensured Teresa got to wear her beautiful new gown.
Since losing Teresa so suddenly Dylan and Kiki’s lives have been turned upside down – and Dylan says he has never felt more in need of the support they receive from Hope House.
“Everyone has been absolutely brilliant” he says. “The nurses and carers are wonderful and looked after Kiki at Teresa’s funeral. We could relax because Fiona and Claire are so much a part of our family and know Kiki so well. They have been with us to help on our best day when Teresa and I got married, and now on our worst day and there is no one we’d trust more.”
“Me and Kiki have been staying at Hope House and everyone looked after me as well as Kiki. It would have been difficult being at home with no-one to talk to in the evenings when Kiki was in bed, but at Hope House there was, and is, always someone to talk to.”
With the help of Dylan and Teresa’s family, Hope House are holding the Welshpool Canal Walk again this year on Sunday 24th September. The event has been re-branded “Walking for Tease” in memory of Teresa and we are hoping hundreds of people will celebrate the life of this remarkable lady. Sign up today at hopehouse.org.uk/events or call 01691 671671.
“People think that a hospice is somewhere you come to and you die, but I have never been anywhere where you see more life. It is not a place of sadness but a place of fun and comfort and we are so thankful Hope House is a part of our lives.”
Walking for Tease:
With the help of Dylan and Teresa’s family, Hope House are organising the Welshpool Canal Walk again on Sunday 24th September. The event has been re-branded “Walking for Tease” in memory of Teresa and the hope is that hundreds of people will celebrate the life of this remarkable lady.
Rachel Jones, Fundraiser for Hope House, said: “We already have 200 people registered for this event, many of whom from the Welshpool area remember Teresa fondly. It is also humbling to see people who never met or even knew Teresa wanting to be part of this event after hearing her story. The day will be a lovely celebration of Teresa and her life.”
The 8 mile walk is free to enter and there is no minimum sponsorship, participants are just asked to raise as much as they can. It starts by Tesco in Welshpool and continues along the canal towpath to the Horseshoe Inn at Berriew and back.
To register or for more information please visit hopehouse.org.uk or call the Hope House Fundraising Office on 01691 671 671.
Dylan Thomas and Kiki Thomas at Hope House.