Manchester: Gran given days to live marries ‘soulmate’ in hospital

Karen Cummings married partner Mark at Wyethenshawe Hospital (Picture: MEN Media)

A grandmother given days to live was able to marry her ‘soulmate’ thanks to her ‘amazing’ nurses who helped arrange a last-minute ceremony on the hospital ward.

Karen Cummings, 57, is receiving end-of-life care at Wythenshawe Hospital after being diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer.

She told loved ones she didn’t want to pass away without tying the knot with long-term partner Mark, 52, so staff spent eight hours organising a makeshift ceremony last Monday, November 28.

Karen’s daughter Rachel Myers said: ‘It was the best day among the worst 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 arranged with the help of the 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.

Karen was diagnosed with cancer in early October (Picture: Rachel Myers / MEN Media)
Nurses spent hours arranging a makeshift ceremony (Picture: Rachel Myers / MEN Media)

Rachel, 34, said: “My parents have four children and seven grandchildren – they’re soul mates.

‘They met and got engaged a long time ago and their lives more recently revolved around their love for camping trips and spending time with their grandchildren.

‘It was important massively to us, my mum didn’t want to go without having taken my dad’s name, and she’s got that wish now 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 feeling nauseous, 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.

The ceremony was attended by the couple’s children, their closest friends and family with nursing staff (Picture: Rachel Myers / MEN Media)

Rachel said: ‘Mum was expected to be referred to The Christie, but unfortunately we never made it there. It’s been a whirlwind with an awful 11 weeks – we have fought and fought for her.

‘It went from what we thought was a curable cancer to being told on Saturday evening she wouldn’t make it through Sunday night.

‘She’s still here though. I just can’t get my head around it, I’m in awe of her. She’s doing amazingly 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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