A father-of-three with terminal cancer spent his last Christmas with his family in a Finchley hospice on Sunday.
Chris Luck, 56, who lives in Enfield Town with his wife Sue and children Kate, Hannah and Will, was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in 2009.
Christmas is a special time for the Luck family, so staff at the North London Hospice in Woodside Avenue pulled out all the stops to bring Christmas forward four months to ensure they could spend a special day together.
Son Will said: “It was brilliant, the meal was fantastic – the hospice provided all that and some of the other patients provided drinks so that was a nice touch.
“We had a cassette player which I haven’t played for years and we had Christmas songs on in the background. My dad just loved the whole thing, he really enjoyed it.”
When Mr Luck woke from a Sunday afternoon snooze, his bedroom was transformed to a winter wonderland complete with paper chain garlands, snowflakes, fairy lights, candy canes and a Christmas tree.
The family even sat down to a Christmas feast of turkey, potatoes, honey-roasted parsnips, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cabbage and gravy thanks to hospice chef Ben Watt.
Mr Luck, who was admitted to the hospice last Friday, retired this summer as the head of Eastfield Primary School in Eastfield Road, where he had worked for 12 years.
He had worked as a teacher in various schools for 30 years, including as headteacher of Hazelwood Junior School in Hazelwood Lane in Palmers Green.
Nursing assistant Katherine Coughlan, who helped organise the day, said: "Once the family had mentioned to me about how important Christmas was for them I wanted to prepare something special. The day was very emotional.
“North London Hospice is not only about giving patients and their families the right clinical care but we want to make every moment count. Sunday was a really memorable and heartwarming day for all those involved and one we will treasure.”
North London Hospice helps people to live with a potentially life-limiting illness providing emotional, spiritual and practical support to them, their families, friends and carers.