Dying Northfleet mum-of-six has wedding organised within a few hours
PUBLISHED: 15:49 12 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:38 15 July 2013
A dying mum-of-six got her wish to marry the man she loved after Northfleet hospice staff organised her big day in just a few hours when her condition suddenly deteriorated.
Paula and fiancé Dave Carroll, both 35, tied the knot at the EllenorLions hospice in Coldharbour Road last Thursday in front of family, friends and their children. They only found out just a few days earlier that she had a terminal brain tumour.
Speaking after the ceremony, Dave said: “A day that started off devastating has turned into one of happiness and laughter.
“We only found out about the brain tumour a few days ago. This morning we were all in tears and praying for her to wake for five minutes, just so that the kids could say goodbye.
“We’re so grateful to everyone at EllenorLions for doing so much to make this wedding happen.”
The couple have been engaged for over two years but they never made it down the aisle because of other commitments.
Paula said: “There’s always been something in the way of us getting married. The day really lifted everybody’s spirits and we’re so thankful to everyone for making our dream come true. It was lovely to see the kids so happy and everyone smiling.”
Mr and Mrs Carroll’s special day was made possible thanks to the charity’s chaplaincy team, who arranged the special licence with the help of Dartford Registry Office.
Nurses on the ward lent a hand by steaming Paula’s wedding dress and helped her to get ready.
Keeping to tradition, the bride kept the groom waiting for half an hour, before making a grand entrance accompanied by her four daughters as bridesmaids.
The ceremony was followed by an outdoor reception in the pretty hospice gardens.
Guests soaked up the sunshine while enjoying a wedding breakfast and cake laid on by the hospice catering team.
Claire Cardy, director of patient care at EllenorLions Hospices, said: “We always aim to put patients and families at the heart of everything we do. I was proud of all our staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make this dream come true for Paula and Dave.
“Everyone rallied together to organise the wedding, which was an amazing feat. This highlights what a fantastic team we have across the organisation, all working together to meet someone’s wishes. Our staff and volunteers work hard every day to achieve amazing things for patients and families, usually in a much less obvious way, but no less important.”