PEOPLE go to great lengths on Valentine’s Day to show their loved ones just how much they care.
But for one Worcester woman, today was an opportunity to thank her other half for always going above and beyond. Ann Davies lives in Lower Wick with her partner of 12 years, James Rothery, and their two sons Lewis, aged six, and Harry, 21 months.
Miss Davies, who works part-time at Debenhams, was born with the genetic condition neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) - a neurological disorder that affects one in 4,000 people.
Its symptoms include multiple benign, soft tumours and changes in skin pigmentation. It can also affect nerves throughout the body, including in the brain and spinal cord.
The couple’s youngest son also has NF1 and this means regular trips to hospital for treatment.
Last summer, the 33-year-old - who also has hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) - was rushed into hospital.
The mum-of-two spent 10 days in Birmingham, during which time Mr Rothery took care of the running of the household, as well as continuing to work at Worcester College of Technology’s study centre and making hospital trips.
And her partner was by her side when she had to undergo another operation last week to remove a tumour.
Miss Davies said: “My condition means you can have lumps growing at any time in your body. You can lead a normal life, but you have to be aware of your limitations. I can’t drive due to my shunt and James has just been amazing.
“He’s a wonderful, charming, affectionate person. I know I haven’t probably been the nicest to him at times because my medication affects my mood, but he’s a very understanding person.”
To thank Mr Rothery for his unfaltering love and support, Miss Davies entered a competition run by Worcester’s Youthcomm Radio to win a VIP Valentine’s Day cinema date.
Listeners were asked to write in with who they would take as their date and why, with the most romantic tale going on to win.
Breakfast presenter Chris Keen chose them as the winners. He said: “There were a few touching stories but this one really did pull on the heart strings.”
Sadly, the couple could not use their prize tonight as they were unable to find a babysitter at short notice, however, Miss Davies said she was delighted to win.
She said: “Between myself and Harry, we have so many hospital appointments. It’s really hard to try and fit everything in. This is my way of saying thank you to James.”