Cancer-sufferer North Walsham grandfather of Britain’s Got Talent star Sam Kelly “wept at the sorry sight” of his beheaded daffodils
08:00 03 April 2014
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In August last year after a cancer diagnosis and an operation to remove his large intestine, grandfather-of-three Tony Kelly was told he had just months to live.
The 81-year-old questioned whether to continue his 15-year autumn tradition of planting daffodils, knowing there was a good chance he may not live see them.
But against the odds the retired nurse watched as the first flowers bloomed in his front garden - only to wake up last Thursday to see a cruel act of vandalism had left the yellow flowers scattered on the ground.
Mr Kelly, who lives in Mayfield Way with his wife Maria, 78, said at first he thought heavy rain had flattened the 30 flowers.
He said: “I got closer and realised these heads should not be on the ground. I looked at them and thought, what kind of mentalist would do that?
“I wept at the sorry sight, not for the daffodils, but for the deranged person who would find it in his or her heart and mind to behead my fine upstanding daffs - having waited the long winter for them to bloom.
“Only last weekend my daughter photographed them to show her partner since it was he who helped me put the bulbs in.”
Mr Kelly, originally from County Wicklow, Ireland, retired to North Walsham 15 years ago after working as a nurse in Britain for 35 years. He met his wife Maria during his training when she was working as a cardiac sister.
The couple married in 1960 and went on to have two daughters and three grandchildren, including Sam Kelly, 22, who was a finalist on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.
Mr Kelly’s illness began in June last year when he complained of a severe stomach ache and was taken to hospital to have his appendix removed.
Doctors discovered cancer cells in his colon, and the decision was made to remove his large intestine, but not to pursue chemotherapy due to the advanced stage of the cancer.
Mr Kelly said: “The oncologist said I would be wasting my time and that I was too far gone for that kind of treatment. I wake up and it is another day but I am still aware that sometime somewhere it will erupt.
“I was reluctant to plant flowers I was not going to see but when I saw them up I knew I had made it and it was worth it. I will hopefully plant some more - I have to survive for that.”