A grandmother who was given days to live was able to marry her “soulmate” thanks to her “fantastic” nurses who helped organize a last-minute ceremony on the hospital ward.
Karen Cummings, 57, is receiving end-of-life treatment at Wythenshawe Hospital after being diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer.
She told loved ones she didn’t want to pass away without bonding with long-term partner Mark, 52, so staff spent eight hours organizing a makeshift ceremony last Monday, November 28.
Karen’s daughter Rachel Myers said: ‘It was the best day in the worst of circumstances.
“They made sure we got the letter we needed from the doctor to get the registrar down – the nurses were just amazing.”
The wedding was organized with the help of Manchester Register Office and nurses Louise Long, Paula Needham, Sophie McNair, Lizz Fildes, Diane Greenwood and Rachel McMahon.
They made banners and flowers for Karen’s hair and brought cake and food. One of the nurses brought the bouquet she had at her own wedding.
Rachel, 34, said: “My parents have four children and seven grandchildren – they are soul mates.
“They met and got engaged a long time ago and recently their lives revolved around their love of camping trips and spending time with their grandchildren.
“It was hugely important to us, mum didn’t want to leave without taking my dad’s name and she’s now got that wish along with a lovely ring.”
The ceremony was attended by the couple’s children – Rachel, Sarah, 40, Gemma, 30 and Josh, 27 – their closest friends and family with nursing staff.
Karen first went to the GP with symptoms of nausea, dizziness and heartburn in January. She had two benign results before being transferred to Salford Royal Hospital for further tests.
She was diagnosed with cancer in early October.
Rachel said: ‘Mum was expected to be referred to The Christie but unfortunately we never got there. It’s been a whirlwind of a terrible 11 weeks – we’ve fought and fought for her.
“It went from what we thought was a curable cancer to being told on Saturday night that she wouldn’t make it through Sunday night.
“She’s still here. I just can’t get my head around it, I’m in awe of her. She is doing amazingly well considering the circumstances.
Rachel paid tribute to the staff who “went above and beyond” to make her mum’s wish come true, adding: “It was an extremely incredible and emotional day but we as a family would like to try and thank them for what they did for mum and dad on monday.’
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