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Grateful artist will paint elephant Elmer to thank hospice for helping save father’s life

PUBLISHED: 11:35 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 12 February 2019

Angela Ashford with her mum and dad, John and Jean Morley   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Angela Ashford with her mum and dad, John and Jean Morley Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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They helped save her beloved father’s life - and now a grateful daughter is to say an emotional thanks to hospice staff by painting an elephant for their Elmer parade.

Angela Ashford has been selected to paint an Elmer  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAngela Ashford has been selected to paint an Elmer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

John Morley was told by hospital nurses that there was nothing more they could do for him due to various health conditions.

But after he started to visit St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich once a week, he made an impressive recovery - so much so that he even abseiled down the side of the maternity block at Ipswich Hospital aged 91, to raise money for the hospice.

Now his daughter, Angela Ashford, is to raise money for the hospice herself to thank them for the work they did by painting an Elmer elephant.

She said: “He’s had various complications the last few years. He was told by the hospital that there was nothing more they could do for him - if they operated, there was too high a risk that he would die due to his age and condition.

Angela Ashford has been selected to paint an Elmer  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAngela Ashford has been selected to paint an Elmer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“When it was said they didn’t expect him to recover, he was sent to the hospice once a week. But he’s a fighter.

“Soon enough, he was feeling better and had a new sense of life. This is when he decided to do the abseil. He only visits the hospice once a month now. I’m incredibly proud of him.”

She added: “He’s always been really proud and shows my work to everyone he knows. He went to the hospice open day where they announced the event and called me straight away. He’s very excited.

“He’s my hero, my dad. He’s always been a very charitable man, he abseiled the maternity block at Ipswich Hospital dressed as Spiderman when he was 91 years old to raise money for the hospice.”

Elmer Elephants waiting to be painted Picture: RACHEL EDGEElmer Elephants waiting to be painted Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The 59-year-old Trimley-based artist’s elephant is being sponsored by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

Elmer’s Big Parade is a trail of painted elephants in Ipswich based on David Mckee’s Elmer the Patchwork Elephant picturebook series. It is due to start in June, running until September.

The event promises to be bigger and better than 2016’s Pigs Gone Wild and boasts 50 unique Elmers.

“It’s a fantastic event for a fantastic cause and I’m very excited to be involved,” said Ms Ashford.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the other Elmers.”

More information about the parade is available here.

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