A family in Hatton Park paid a special tribute to mark the 10th anniversary since they lost their much-loved Melissa.
Neil Adams and his three sons Harvey (16), Taylor (15) and Jamie (11), released balloons on Tuesday (June 12) at Hatton Park green to mark 10 years since the boys lost their mum and Neil lost his wife, Melissa Jayne Adams.
Melissa died aged 34 after a routine operation.
Neil said: “She went in for a routine operation and passed away the day after. The inquest said that she was suffering from Sarcoidosos, which is where small granules develop on your organs and if your body is in trauma it can shut down that organ. The coroner couldn’t be conclusive so ruled it as natural causes.
“My boys were six, five and one at the time.
“It is the worst thing you can ever experience – having to tell your children what has happened.
“One minute your life is going in one direction and the next you are spinning around and around not knowing where to go.”
Both Neil and Melissa worked at National Grid in Warwick and a year after Melissa died, Neil decided to give up work and focus on looking after his sons.
He said: “In the last 10 years I have brought my boys up on my own. At times it has been a struggle but we have had some wonderful times along the way. We have had so much support from our friends and neighbours in Hatton Park – they have been supportive not just to me but to my children too.
“We have also done some travelling over the last 10 years too. Melissa loved to go on holidays and travel. So we went away every year.
“I took the boys to Bali in 2013, which is where Melissa and I had our honeymoon when we married in 1999.
“They found a photo album while playing hide-and-seek and asked to go there and we retraced some of the photos that were taken.
“I was very lucky when I left National Grid that I was in the financial situation to be able to devote all my time to looking after my boys. I am so proud of them and two have grown into young men and one into a junior young man.”
In October 2008 Neil and a team from National Grid built a sensory garden at Ferncumbe Primary School in Hatton in memory of Melissa. Neil and Melissa’s children have all attended the school.
Last year Neil and the National Grid team returned to the school to tidy up and add more to the garden.
The garden includes items such as a reading chair and a water feature and there is a special section explaining why the garden is dedicated to Melissa.
Neil said: “The garden is still as beautiful as it was when it was first created, it is a legacy.”
Leading up to the balloon release Neil was feeling nervous about how it would go. He said: “I was dreading the balloon release as it was a solid number and I found myself getting very uneasy and anxious but it was like a celebration.
“Family, friends and former colleagues sent me messages of love and these were attached to the balloons. They just soared high and it was beautiful. It was not a sad day but a really enjoyable remembrance.”