Dr Kershaw’s Hospice organised a couple’s big day in just 72 hours to make wedding dreams come true for a patient.
Proving that nothing gets in the way of true love, a Chadderton couple overcame all the hurdles put in front of them, including a last-minute postponement, to finally tie the knot in a special service at the Royton-based Hospice.
Bride-to-be Donna Friar thought she’d ticked all the boxes when she arranged to marry her partner Mark Davis, who was receiving pain management at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.
Turning up for her big day which she’d planned with the registrar that very morning, she was told Mark was on strong pain relief and was not fit enough for the occasion and his preference was to wait until the following week.
Donna, all set in her beautiful white and pink floral dress, walked away emotional but ready to plan the day again. The couple tied the knot just a few days later, surrounded by their close family.
But Donna had another worry that with the new Covid rules she would have to choose between members of her close family to keep to the rule of six, which were brought in on her actual wedding day – September 14 – by the Government.
However, with help from the Hospice staff, who contacted Oldham Council, they confirmed current regulations for weddings state 20 people are able to attend as long as it is outside and social distancing measures are observed.
Donna and Mark quickly contacted their family and friends to invite them along to their celebrations. Those unable to attend the service watched via a live-stream link monitored by staff nurse Chloe.
Donna, 58, and Mark, 55, who have been together for eleven years, met in their local pub The Colliers Arms and became a happy couple thanks to the match-making skills of their friends.
Mark’s brother Andrew proudly walked Donna down the aisle and their closest friends Mick and Wendy were the only named people allowed to physically be at the civil ceremony in Mark’s room at the Hospice.
Donna said: “It was such a magical day! Words can’t even describe the feeling. We can’t thank all the staff at Dr Kershaw’s enough for organising it for us and making it so special.”
Mark added: “I’ve been looked after so well since being here, the staff have been brilliant and have bent over backwards to help me and to make our day so special.”
Hospice Nurse Beth who has been caring for Mark said: “Mark and Donna’s wedding day was a true example of what Dr Kershaw’s is all about – making patient’s wishes come true no matter how big or small!
“It was amazing to see how many people came together to pull off their special day, from the nurses and doctors, to the events team, maintenance team, florist, bakery and even our very own Dr Kershaw’s Shop who kindly lent our nurses fascinators so staff could look the part!
“I was privileged to be able to get so involved and to make it a day Mark and Donna could cherish forever, especially after being engaged for five years!”
Dr Kershaw’s would like to say a special thank you to Keira’s Wishes for funding their afternoon tea and decorations. Also thanks to the Oldham Registrars for fast-tracking the couple’s civil ceremony, Sparkles Cakes for providing the wedding cake, Arundel Bakery for their support with a buffet and additional wedding cake and Sarah Jayne Floral Design for the brides beautiful bouquet.
Dr Kershaw’s Hospice provides free, specialist palliative care for adults with life-limiting illnesses based in Oldham. Find out more on the website: https://drkershawshospice.org.uk