A wife has been left heartbroken, a son still calls out for his dad and a daughter listens to voice notes sent by her father before he passed away.

The Weston family, who lived in Watford until October 2020 before moving to Borehamwood, is grieving the loss of Dan, 46, who died on June 9 after battling bowel cancer for almost three years.

His wife, Hayley Weston, 47, has paid tribute to Dan – “her soulmate” and husband of nearly 10 years as a very “kind, loving person and a fun dad”.

Watford Observer: Dan and Hayley's wedding, August 4, 2013Dan and Hayley's wedding, August 4, 2013 (Image: davidhughesphotography.co.uk)

Hayley said: “It has been hard. It all happened in a blink of an eye.”

While the family knew Dan’s cancer was terminal after it had returned since the first diagnosis in March 2020, they believed he had years left, not weeks when he last went into hospital in May.

Hayley said: “It has been so sad and distressing since he passed away. My daughter Leia who is six doesn’t remember daddy being well. She only remembers him fighting cancer.

“While Dan was in the hospital, he used to send Leia voice notes saying “I love you Chiklet,” his nickname for her and she still listens to them to hear his voice.

Watford Observer: Dan with his children, Leia and RaphaelDan with his children, Leia and Raphael (Image: Weston family)

“And last week we went for Friday night dinner at my brother’s and Raphael, my eight-year-old son, came home and shouted up the stairs ‘hi dad.’ We all looked at each other and cried together.”

Hayley described Dan as being “the most incredible human being” and despite the cancer he continued to take the children out on day trips when he could.

“He was the fun dad. It would exhaust him, but he made sure they had those days with him,” Hayley said.

Watford Observer: Despite being ill, Dan still spent time with the family to create memories for them all.Despite being ill, Dan still spent time with the family to create memories for them all. (Image: Weston family)

Although Dan continued working as a consultant in his role as a software engineer throughout his illness, the family does not currently have any income coming in.

Hayley, who used to work as a buyer and senior national account manager before she had her children, is in the middle a counselling course so she can return to work, but now is concentrating on the children.

To help, a friend of Hayley set up a JustGiving Page and so far, £26,566 has been raised of a £50,000 target.

Hayley, who is a breastfeeding volunteer, said: “People who I don’t know or women who I have supported with breastfeeding have donated. The support has been incredible.”

To donate to the fundraiser, visit https://bit.ly/42NKZ82.

Watford Observer: Dan and Hayley when they were dating in 2011.Dan and Hayley when they were dating in 2011. (Image: Weston family)

Sadly, Hayley understands how her children feel as she lost her mother when she was a similar age.

“I want them to talk about him. It brings us comfort to remember,” she said.

For Hayley, who nursed Dan in his last two weeks at home, holds on to his “final words to me ‘I love you, always’”.

“That’s really special to me,” said Hayley.

“We really did love each other.”