Wish comes true Meet­ing al­paca ‘10 times bet­ter than TV’

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By ROBIN JENK­INS robin.jenk­[email protected]­plc.com

COSMO the friendly al­paca gave a dy­ing woman an “in­cred­i­ble” start to the day. He­len Han­cox, of Ke­ble Road, More­ton-in-marsh, has just days to live be­cause she has a brain tu­mour.

But thanks to her daugh­ter Jackie Smith, and Cotswold Vale Al­pacas, Cosmo pro­vided her with a treat she re­ally wanted.

Mrs Han­cox had seen the dis­tinc­tivelook­ing an­i­mals on a tele­vi­sion pro­gramme from the bed of her Cotswolds home and said she would like to stroke one.

So Jackie put an ap­peal out on so­cial me­dia to see if some­body could get one to come to the house where her mother and fa­ther Colin live.

It led to Gin­nie Meakin, of Cotswold Vale Al­pacas at Sedge­ber­row, near Eve­sham, agree­ing to bring 12-year-old Cosmo to see Mrs Han­cox.

The pen­sioner loved ev­ery sec­ond of the visit, stroking the lov­able an­i­mal and chat­ting away to him.

Her eyes lit up as Gin­nie brought him to her bed­side.

The 72 year old said: “Oh you’re beau­ti­ful. Oh you’re gor­geous. Aren’t you beau­ti­ful?”

Say­ing hello to the 4ft-high crea­ture, she said: “You are lovely.”

Watched by her hus­band, Jackie, her other daugh­ter Cat Brain and grand­son Dan Brain, Mrs Han­cox barely took her eyes off Cosmo.

The an­i­mal re­mained calm through­out the ex­change, with Gin­nie say­ing he was clearly re­laxed.

She has taken al­pacas into schools and hospital homes be­fore but said the trip to see Mrs Han­cox was some­thing of a one-off.

Mrs Han­cox said it was the first time she had seen an al­paca, a species re­lated to camels and orig­i­nat­ing from South Amer­ica, at close quar­ters.

She was de­lighted when Gin­nie gave her a minia­ture model of Cosmo to keep.

Still ad­dress­ing Cosmo, Mrs Han­cox said he was able to “make things won­der­ful for peo­ple, even for me”.

She added that see­ing and touch­ing an al­paca had been “10 times bet­ter” than see­ing one on the TV.

Just be­fore Cosmo left, she told him: “I’m very happy to have met you. You won’t half make me re­mem­ber you.”

Then she said: “That was in­cred­i­ble, fab­u­lous. Well done Jacks.”

Jackie and Cat said their mother seemed hap­pier and brighter than she had been for a long time.

Cat said their brother, Stu­art Han­cox, had not been able to at­tend the event be­cause he was at work.

Mrs Han­cox frac­tured her hip in a fall on April 5 and scans re­vealed she was suf­fer­ing from a brain tu­mour.

Doc­tors told her fam­ily the tu­mour could have been there for up to seven months.

In 2017, they suf­fered a tragedy when Mrs Han­cox’s el­dest grand­son, 26-yearold Matthew, was killed in a motorbike ac­ci­dent near Ban­bury.

He­len Han­cox meets Cosmo the al­paca with her hus­band Colin

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