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Star News
(New Zealand)

26 March 2006

Many thanks to Calli for the article

LUCY Lawless is still comforting her cancer-stricken dad at Auckland Hospital's intensive care unit. But former Mt Albert mayor Frank Ryan, who has undergone two operations for bowel cancer, is showing signs of improvement after his Xena: Warrior Princess star daughter and other family members mounted a bedside vigil.

Frank's older brother, noted Auckland lawyer Kevin Ryan, visited him on Thursday.

"Frank can't talk because he has had a tracheotomy, but he can write a simple letter," Kevin said. "His whole family including Lucy are praying that he makes a complete recovery, but that's in the hands of our maker."

Kevin, 75, said Lucy - who returned to New Zealand earlier this month for an Auckland Starship children's hospital fundraiser - would not go back to her Los Angeles home while her dad was in danger. "If she feels she can help by being here, she'll stay," he said.

Lucy is turning 38 on Wednesday, and Kevin said her best birthday present would be father's recovery. He said Lucy was a great comfort to his daughter - 35-year-old crown prosecutor Claire Ryan - when she was struck by the disease. She has been in remission for five years.

Kevin said Frank, 73, had received messages of support from around the country.
He was only diagnosed four weeks ago.