Lincoln hospital grants terminally ill man’s wish to marry

When terminally ill patient Dave Brooks stated his only wish was to get married, family and staff at Lincoln County Hospital were determined to grant it.

Lorry driver Brooks (54) from Lincoln and his partner Di Hawkins (51) had always planned to marry, but only set a date after he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

The original plan was to marry on December 4, but he then contracted pneumonia and had to be admitted to Lincoln County Hospital.

Dave was not likely to recover enough in order to make it to the registry office due to his underlying health condition.

However, staff saved up and with help from florist Flowers by Suzanne and Waitrose, a wedding service was held at the hospital.

Around 20 people attended the ceremony, including Dave’s parents and three children, and Di’s four children, plus best man Kevin Davy, his wife Gail and staff from the Medical Emergency Assessment Unit.

Dave and Di celebrating their engagement.

Dave and Di celebrating their engagement.

Daughter Samantha (29) said: “Dad and Di were together for six or seven years and he first proposed about three years ago.

“It was only when he was diagnosed with cancer that they set a date but it looked like he wouldn’t be well enough to make it.

“We can’t thank the hospital nurses and the staff enough. It was such an emotional day. Nan cried through the whole thing and I think a lot of the nurses were in tears too. It meant so much to dad that he had his whole family in one place at such an important time.

“In a wheelchair, he was OK for the service and some photos but that exhausted him and he had to return to the ward. If you’re seriously ill in hospital you wouldn’t normally have the chance to see all your family together like that so it was a really special day.”

Sadly, six days after the wedding Dave passed away. Although devastated, family and friends are glad they had the chance to see Dave happy in his final days.

Best man Kevin thanked staff and also paid tribute to staff at Waitrose and Flowers by Suzanne for supplying flowers and champagne.

He said: “We only found out the wedding was able to go ahead about 24 hours before. We contacted friends and family and joined staff to decorate the room. Flowers by Suzanne supplied the bride’s bouquet and buttonhole flowers and Waitrose supplied flowers and champagne.

“But it was only possible because of the hospital staff who have been absolutely brilliant.”

The wedding-planning team from the hospital included Nicola Richmond, Carol Juhos, Wendy Rojas, Janine Burnett and Dawn Thornhill from the Medical Emergency Assessment Unit.

Healthcare support worker Nicola Richmond said: “It was what Mr Brooks wanted and it was great to see so many family members help him and his bride make it special.”