Garden Will Ease Cancer Patients' Toughest Moments; Special Design Will Let Them Absorb Diagnosis in Dignity

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID POWELL

THE shock of being told you have cancer can only be imagined by most of us.

Patients tell how they want to spend the moments afterwards alone - giving them time to collect their thoughts.

In keeping with their wish, a charity has helped to set up a garden path out of hospital grounds which they can use to leave the premises as they absorb their news.

The new, circular garden and path are solely for cancer patients and their families.

It opened last week at Wrexham Maelor Hospital near its Shooting Star Unit.

It was created by Macmillan Cancer Support, the Shooting Star Appeal and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which runs the hospital.

It will be used by people from Dolgellau to Flintshire, Wrexham to north Powys who use the hospital.

Pam Wedley, manager of the adjacent Macmillan Information Centre, said: "We are delighted that we can now offer patients and their families this outdoor area.

"Patients tell us that, when they've been given bad news, one of the worst things was having to walk down the long corridor (in the hospital) and people seeing them with tears rolling down their faces.

"We have extended a garden pathway so they can walk down the back of the garden, where there are deliveries, and out of the hospital grounds with nobody looking at them."

Ms Wedley said the garden also contains 'neutral' smelling plants so the aroma doesn't irritate vulnerable patients on chemotherapy.

The garden was designed by Glyndwer University students Jill Scorer, an Art and Design for Landscape student, and Colm Trevor, studying Applied Arts.

Ms Wedley added: "They worked hard.

They used the garden as a module for their degrees and watered it every day."

The garden and seats are alongside the River Gwenfro in the middle of the hospital site. …