A NEWLY refurbished family bereavement room has been opened at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, in memory of a teenager who died last year.

Lauren Cayford, from Brynmawr, was diagnosed in 2014 with a debilitating form of epilepsy. She died on Boxing Day last year, aged just 19, two days after being found unresponsive in her bedroom.

Her family’s grief at her sudden death was compounded by their experience at the hospital, including in a bereavement room and adjacent viewing room described as dark and dingy by her parents Robert and Del Cayford.

Now, with the help of South Wales-based charity 2 Wish Upon A Star, the rooms have been transformed, with newly painted walls – complete with colourful blossoming tree and butterfly murals by artist Stacy Brass – new furniture, new carpet and the provision of information leaflets for families.

The charity also aims to ensure that every emergency department in Wales has a suitable bereavement suite for families.

Mr and Mrs Cayford, and other members of Lauren’s family, saw the refurbished rooms for the first time on Monday, and said they were impressed with the result.

“It’s not a place you would ever want to come to, but it is important that they feel comfortable, and this is very good, much better than what it was like for us,” said Mr Cayford.

“We wouldn’t want another family to go through what we went through, and if this helps even a little bit, that is important.”

Mrs Cayford described the rooms as “totally different, lovely and clean”.

“We were totally overwhelmed when Becky (Jones, immediate support officer with 2 Wish Upon A Star) rang us to ask if the room could be dedicated to Lauren,” she said.

“The butterflies are lovely, and very appropriate because Lauren loved them.”

Bereavement care has become a priority for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and its bereavement co-ordinator Lorraine Jenkins said it had recognised a gap in provision and is seeking to develop a robust service to support families.