Photographer fulfils friend’s dying wish

Mick Carroll at the hospice before his final birdwatching trip.
Mick Carroll at the hospice before his final birdwatching trip.
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A patient who phoned a famous wildlife photographer from his hospice bed and asked a final favour is to have his wish come true during an event in Scarborough.

Nature lover Mick Carroll knew he was dying when he called his friend, the award-winning photographer Andy Rouse, and asked him to be the star of a charity event.

Mick, of Pickering, was determined that part of his legacy should be a big fundraiser for Saint Catherine’s, the hospice which had provided such exceptional care for Mick that in his final weeks it even helped him be the guest of honour at his own wake.

Mick was very well-known for his wildlife work and counted Andy among his many friends.

When he called the photographer from the hospice and asked him to help, Andy agreed to put on a talk as a fundraiser for Saint Catherine’s.

Sadly, Mick died days after making the call but the event he helped to organise is going ahead. Tickets are on sale now for the talk in Scarborough next month which will feature many of Andy’s best photographs.

Mick’s wife, Helene, will be among the audience at Scarborough Rugby Club on 25 February.

She said she was delighted it was going ahead.

“Mick could talk anybody into doing anything and he was really pleased when Andy agreed to do this for the hospice,” she said.

“The care Saint Catherine’s provided was absolutely exceptional. It was so caring to Mick and so kind to me.”

Helene brought their dog to visit most days and, when he expressed a wish to attend his own wake, more than 100 people from all over the country went to Saint Catherine’s to help him celebrate his 68th birthday.

Mick was terminally ill with cancer when he was admitted to Saint Catherine’s where staff helped him get the most from his final weeks.

Saint Catherine’s provides in and out-patient care, neurology support, bereavement support and day care for patients across the region.

Visit www.justgiving.com/anightwithandyrouseinmemoryofmickcarroll/ to buy tickets, priced £15, for the fundraising evening.