Donation to Katoomba Hospital palliative care unit in Louise Knox’s name

Former florist Louise Knox had a passion for her Wentworth Falls community.

It inspired her and a friend Camille Walsh to create a popular festival – Lanterns on the Lake – in April, 2017.

The free community event was inspired by the stunning floating lantern festivals in the Vietnamese town of Hoi An that they had both witnessed separately with their families. The incredibly popular Mountains event ran again – in 2019 – before Mrs Knox’s sickness waylaid future plans.

Mrs Knox passed away from a brain tumour in Katoomba Palliative Care just over a year ago and her husband Anthony Knox recently ensured his company Thor Specialties gifted $10,000 towards furnishings at the hospital unit.

“Louise spent more than four months in palliative care at Katoomba Hospital before passing away in September last year,” Mr Knox said.

“Louise would be chuffed and embarrassed to think of a donation in her honour being made to the community hospital.”

Mr Knox said it seemed appropriate for something to be in the community from her, as she was so community minded. He expressed gratitude to his company for the time off to care for her during her illness and the recent donation to the hospital on Friday November 5.

The money will go towards making the unit more homely.

“The money will be used to benefit patients, families and carers in their important facilities that enable families to spend time with their loved ones at the end of their lives,” he said.

Pia Lambert, palliative care clinical nurse consultant, said studies recommend palliative care rooms be as ‘un-hospital like’ as possible, a homely space where patients, families and carers can interact comfortably and naturally.

“Palliative care rooms perform a role that is quite distinct from other kinds of hospital rooms. The literature about palliative care and hospice design acknowledges that these spaces are required to fulfill a number of functions; a space for private conversations, for socialising, sleeping, meditating and grieving,” she said.

Co-founder of Lanterns on the Lake, Camille Walsh said: “When Louise and I hatched plans to create a local event that would bring the community together we had no idea how popular it would be.

“Working with Lou on Lanterns has been one of the greatest privileges I’ve experienced. We all miss her terribly. Not only was she an incredible, kind and generous friend, but she was an amazing part of our community. She had a heart of gold. Her time here ended way too soon.”

Credit: Blue Mountains Gazette