Coventry & Warwickshire

Actress raises £11k for hospice after husband dies

Ross Blair and Holly Matthews Image copyright Holly Matthews
Image caption Holly Matthews said the family was dealing with an "unfathomable loss"

A TV actress whose 32-year-old husband died from a brain tumour has raised more than £11,000 for the Warwickshire hospice where he spent his final days.

Holly Matthews, who appeared in Waterloo Road and Byker Grove, raised funds for The Myton Hospices by launching an online appeal.

Ms Matthews, whose husband Ross Blair died on 29 July, said the care he received was "so impressive".

The hospice thanked her and said she was "unbelievably brave".

'Inspirational'

Mr Blair, the son of ex-Aston Villa and Coventry City player Andy Blair, was diagnosed with grade-4 brain cancer in 2014.

Following his death, Ms Matthews paid tribute to her "incredible husband".

"The thing that gives me massive strength is that Ross himself was ok with everything," she told BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire.

She said the most difficult part of his illness was telling their two daughters Brooke, six, and four-year-old Texas.

"I didn't know how to do it - it was a very hard conversation," she said.

Image copyright Holly Matthews
Image caption Ms Matthews said telling her daughters was a "hard conversation"

"With brain cancer, the deterioration is very, very rapid at the end," she said.

"When we told the girls, Ross was still alert and aware."

Ms Matthews said she had been inundated with gifts and donations which she had decided to direct to the hospice.

After setting up an online fundraising page, she raised £2,000 in 48 hours.

Ruth Freeman, Myton's chief executive, said: "Holly has been unbelievably brave.

"Her continuing efforts to raise funds have been inspirational."

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