Dream blooms for florist

PUBLISHED: 10:08 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 22:02 07 July 2010

A woman who was inspired to retrain as a florist after losing her granddaughter to meningitis has realised her dream.

A woman who was inspired to retrain as a florist after losing her granddaughter to meningitis has realised her dream.

Sally Langley and her family were devastated when eight-week-old Shannon died within an hour of being taken to hospital on Easter Sunday, eight years ago.

The funeral was delayed for more than two months as her sudden death was investigated by the coroner, but during the wait Miss Langley took comfort in organising the flowers.

Now, having spent several years learning the trade, she has opened The Flower Studio in a converted garage on the side of her Mallow Road home in Thetford.

Far from resembling somewhere most families would keep a car however, the garage has been completely renovated with a professional counter over which to take orders, a workshop hidden around the corner and a garden bench and silk flowers to complete the look.

Miss Langley, who studied flower arranging, took private floristry lessons, and studied for levels two and three of her City and Guilds in Floristry qualification, said her youngest daughter Amy, 20, would also be helping out.

“It's been a very long process and I definitely wouldn't have gone into it without what happened but I'm excited about what's happening now,” she said. “I'm nervous too though.”

Just days before the little girl's death from lymphatic meningitis, Shannon was taken by her mother, Kerry Harvey, now 25 of St John's Way in Thetford, to her doctor after she began vomiting.

She was sent home but two days later rushed to the West Suffolk Hospital when neither Mrs Harvey nor her husband, Mark, 37, could wake her. Within an hour she had tragically died.

“It's still hard but you learn to deal with it,” said Mrs Harvey who also has a nine-year-old son, Macaulay, and two daughters, Courtney, four, and Chloe, three.

“It never goes and I sit there some nights crying but you have to move on. She was a lovely girl and I'll always remember her.”

Miss Langley, who also has another daughter, Gemma, 27, and seven grandchildren, and lives with her partner Peter Phaff, 47, added: “She was a very happy child and smiling all the time.”

To contact The Flower Studio call 01842 820040 or email To begin with opening hours will be from 10am until 2pm.

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