Whiteley cancer nurse’s memory to be immortalised in new memorial bench

Kerry Winch and her husband Paul
Kerry Winch and her husband Paul

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A CANCER nurse who cared for people with the same condition as her has been praised as an ‘angel’ by her husband.

Kerry Winch from Whiteley was diagnosed with colo-rectal and liver cancer in February 2013 and given three months to live.

It is so inspirational what she did and you know she went in and never showed any signs of pain. It is astounding.

Paul Winch, Kerry’s husband

She surpassed doctors’ expectations, who then gave her 18 months.

But Kerry fought on three years to see the day her son, Tom got married before dying in her sleep at the end of last month.

Now, residents from Whiteley have raised £1,520 to install a memorial bench for Kerry in Whiteley’s Meadowside Recreational Ground.

Her husband Paul told The News: ‘Kerry was a remarkable woman.

‘You really would not have known she was unwell. She would not let it beat her and she fought on.’

A year into battling cancer, Kerry made the decision to return to work at the Jane Ashley Colo-rectal Ward at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

For six months, despite having chemotherapy for the same condition, Kerry provided support and help for those fighting cancer.

Paul, a warrant officer at HMS Collingwood added: ‘She was just amazing. It is so inspirational what she did and you know she went in and never showed any signs of pain. It is astounding.

‘I don’t know how she did it but I know that she really went beyond the call of what was expected.

‘She was thought of as an angel there.’

Kerry’s determination to help out the patients led to her being commended by the hospital for her compassion while she still worked at the hospital.

The couple met eight years go and Paul said Kerry was ‘unlike any girl I had ever met before’.

He added: ‘The thing about my and Kerry’s relationship was that we never, ever, had an argument at all.

‘It sounds mad but it was true.

‘We would just be able to sit and talk with one another, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we never ran out of words to say to one another.

‘It is quite unbelievable when I think about it.

‘She was just perfect for me.’

John Murray, a friend of the couple, set up a fundraising page online and 77 people raised the money within a few days.

Whiteley Town Council approved the installation of the bench at a meeting on Monday and Paul will now write a plaque for the bench carrying his own message.

Paul added: ‘I was so humbled when I saw so many people had donated.

‘Some were people I had never met before and some I went to school with.

‘It just shows the impact that she had on people.’

The ground was chosen by John as Kerry, 45, frequently took her three-year-old Jack Russell Willow there for walks. Paul says it was her favourite spot.

Paul added: ‘Kerry did not like being the centre of attention but I know that she would appreciate all the love that people have shown.’