Opera star Rhys Meirion’s sister fights for life after fall down stairs
WELSH opera star Rhys Meirion was last night keeping vigil at his sister’s bedside as she fought for her life after falling down stairs at home.
Elen Meirion was in a critical condition on a life support machine at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan.
Her devastated friends and family are praying for the well-known Ysgol Pen Barras teacher’s recovery, but are said to be preparing themselves for the worst.
The news has sent shock waves through the community as many people described Elen as a “true inspiration”.
The mother-of-one, whose family are from Gwynedd, led the Ruthin school choir to national glory last year.
Today her pupils are set to return from the Easter holidays to hear the sad news.
It is believed that Elen, who is in her 40s, fell down the stairs of her Rhewl home near Ruthin on Sunday morning.
Well wishers left messages on her Facebook page and expressed their sorrow about the incident. One said: “Mor drist – methu coelio xxx (so sad – can’t believe it).”
Last April, Elen told how she was “thrilled” after her group was crowned the winner of the Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition 2011 by Russell Watson.
And in 2010, she conducted a concert in Disneyland Paris in which tenor Rhys and his two daughters took part.
Opera singer Rhys confirmed his sister was on a life support machine and was surrounded by loved ones.
Huw Hilditch-Roberts, chair of governors at Ysgol Pen Barras, said: “Elen is a true inspiration. She’s touched the hearts of everyone she was involved with at Ysgol Pen Barras, be they pupils, colleagues, parents, governors and visitors alike.
“She possesses a flair for inspiring young children to produce the most perfect harmonies, which built up a reputation prominent enough to be invited to perform at Euro Disney, compete at the International Music Eisteddfod and most recently to scoop the title of Songs of Praise, School Choir of the Year – a truly fantastic achievement.
“She is not only considered a teacher, but a friend, and her determination and devotion for the school to succeed has seen her take on more than just a teaching role.
“Elen, a warm and caring person with an infectious smile, is someone who is always ready to help anyone and everyone. our thoughts are with the family following this truly awful time.
He added: “I consider it an honour to say I know her personally and professionally and I regard it an honour for my children to be taught by her, both educationally and musically, during their time at Pen Barras.”