Jessica Dallow

Jessica Dallow

Because of you… my dad enjoyed my prom

In May 2013, Tom Dallow was looking forward to his 19-year-old daughter, Jessica, graduating from Barrs Court School and going to her prom.

In the same week, Tom had taken time off from his job at Primasil to visit his doctor about a pain in his stomach.
For Tom’s wife Angela, 23 years of married life was about to take a dramatic turn. ‘I saw the doctor coming out with Tom holding a letter, which asked for Tom to be admitted to Hereford Hospital immediately.

We had been planning celebrations for Tom’s promotion, but instead of a trip to Disney World I was coming to terms with looking after our daughters Jessica and Sophie alone. When Tom was told the news that he was going to die, my whole life turned upside down – everything just went bang.’

Within days, Tom was admitted to St Michael’s Hospice. ‘They were just there for all of us. We all grew very close to the nurses: one health care assistant sat and read to Tom, which helped him to relax. We sat by his bed and he would watch the squirrels and talk to us all about going to Jessica’s prom. Tom really wanted to be there for Jessica, and within a couple of days of talking to the nurses and social workers, the Hospice arranged
to bring the prom to St Michael’s. It was a moment that we never thought we would have, seeing Jessica make an amazing entrance in her prom dress
and the Hospice made sure that family, friends and staff from the school could be there. All told, it was almost 20 people! We had a special cake and a party food feast from the Catering Team, and lots of balloons. It meant so much to the family. You could see Tom was so proud.’

Tom died shortly after Jessica’s special night at St Michael’s Hospice. Angela says, ‘The whole family was treated with such dignity and Tom always looked so comfortable, and having the memory of Jessica’s prom night is very special for us all.’

Jessica thinks of her dad every day. ‘If he was still here, sat on the sofa, I’d say, ‘Cook my breakfast, Dad’. I really miss going to Lock’s Garage for an ice cream and spending days together at Barry Island. I miss him very much. My ball gown reminds me of dad smiling and telling me how beautiful I looked.’