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Grieving family thanks well-wishers

PUBLISHED: 10:24 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:06 05 July 2010

THE grieving family of a terminally ill man who died in an alleged attack just before they were due to spend their last Christmas together have publicly thanked well-wishers for their support and urged them to make charity donations in his memory.

THE grieving family of a terminally ill man who died in an alleged attack just before they were due to spend their last Christmas together have publicly thanked well-wishers for their support and urged them to make charity donations in his memory.

The wife and three children of 55-year-old John Vry have spent an emotional and difficult Christmas at the family home in London Road South, Lowestoft, less than a month after his death.

They have been inundated with sympathy cards and messages of support, which daughter Wendy Vry said had been a source of great comfort.

Well-wishers have also asked if there will be a collection in Mr Vry's memory and Wendy said the family would like people to give money to an appeal to build a £1.5m palliative care unit at the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston.

Wendy, 23, said: “Mum has really appreciated what people have done. We would like the money to go somewhere that would have meant something to dad. His death was so horrible, but we are hoping something good comes out of it. We just want to find some kind of silver lining.”

Mr Vry had gone out to buy a packet of cigars and some chips when he was allegedly attacked in an alleyway off London Road South on December 3. He was taken to the JPH with head injuries, but died the following day.

James Killingback, 22, of Denmark Road, Lowestoft, and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged with Mr Vry's murder and will next appear at Ipswich Crown Court on March 27.

A 23-year-old man, from Lowestoft, was also arrested on suspicion of murder and he remains on police bail pending further enquiries. He is due to return to Lowestoft police station on January 19.

The Journal revealed last month how former electrician Mr Vry was suffering from terminal bowel cancer and was getting ready to spend an emotional final Christmas with his wife Valerie, 51, and their children.

Doctors told Mr Vry in June that he may only have six months to live, but Wendy said her father was still leading an active life.

She added: “We would have had that time with him and he would have definitely been here for Christmas. Mum said there were things she wanted to say to him, but now he's gone.

“It was more difficult as we got closer to Christmas Day. A couple of presents under the tree were for dad so mum opened them and got a bit tearful. I also wrapped up a present which dad got for her.

“Mum really appreciated all the cards. Some included notes saying how they felt about the tragedy and it helped her get through it.”

Mr Vry's family are still waiting for the go-ahead to organise his funeral.

The Palliative Care East charity, launched in 2006, has the goal of building a new care unit in the grounds of the JPH to serve patients in the Yarmouth and Waveney areas.

To make a donation, visit www.palliative-care-east.org.uk. Alternatively, cheques made payable to Palliative Care East can be sent to Palliative Care East, Fundraising Office, James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, NR31 6LA.

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