A health centre is being set up in honour of a woman whose husband sparked a worldwide media frenzy after admitting he slept in the same room as her dead body for six days.
Russell Davison revealed keeping his wife Wendy’s body at home helped him cope with his grief after her death from cervical cancer – and he encouraged others to do the same.
Now an office block he owns in Derby’s Wilson Street is being converted into an alternative health centre in his wife’s name, and will offer free services to the community.
Russell said he believed his wife’s sugar-free probiotic diet – which also included no alcohol and nothing from a tin – and a commitment to alternative therapies helped her survive cancer for so long after her 2006 diagnosis.
Hypnotherapist and probiotic nutritionist Simon Jones, who lived with the couple as a lodger, will be part of a 12-strong collective of therapists working in the Wendy Centre.
Mr Jones said: «The extent to which she immersed herself into the natural health world was quite profound.
«She would have no toxins in her house. Everything was completely natural.
«It was an incredibly strict diet, against an extremely aggressive cancer, which could have added a decade onto her life.»
Now Mr Jones is in the process of setting up the natural health centre which will offer a variety of «health and wellbeing» services including life coaching, nutritional guidance, counselling, reiki, massage and education on alternative therapies.
While some of the collective are already conducting therapies in the building, Mr Jones hopes to spend the next two weeks kitting the Wendy Centre out with furniture before offering free services to the public.
He said: «We need to raise funds for all of our resources, for all of our promotional material, the website and furniture.
«Soon we are going to have a weekly timetable of all the things we can offer and we are looking potentially at the start of June to be offering free sessions.»
Before her death Wendy, who lived off Uttoxeter New Road, was a hypnotherapist who helped women through childbirth to reduce the level of pain they experienced. She and her husband Russell both pursued alternative therapies and followed a strict natural health diet before Wendy’s death last month.
Russell caused shock waves around the world when he told the Derby Telegraph he slept in the same room as his wife’s body for six days after she died.
In a heartbreaking letter he hoped to convince the public that staying close to a loved one’s dead body is nothing to be afraid of.
Since we published the story on Monday last week, the brave widower has given a television interview to ITV’s This Morning, appeared on Radio 4’s PM programme and the story has been published in newspapers across the world, from Australia to New York.
Mr Jones is running a half-marathon to raise money for the Wendy Centre, but all donations intended for the health facility can be made at the same link.
A memorial service for Wendy was held yesterday (Sun) at Derbyshire County Cricket Ground.
People who attended were invited to give eulogies and to speak of their memories of Wendy, before balloons were released with messages to Wendy attached to them.
The second part of the service consisted of Buddhist singing, led by a friend of Wendy and Russell.