Dad Arranges Wedding In 24 Hours To Marry Dying Fiancee

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

Dad arranges wedding in 24 hours to marry dying fiancee

A dad organised his wedding in less than 24 hours so he could marry his terminally ill fiancée after she was given just days to live.

Paul Wheatley had been with Donna – mum of their nine-year-old son, Kian - for 12 years when she was rushed to hospital with kidney and heart problems.

They were then given the devastating news that Donna, 36, had just weeks, if not days, to live.

Paul, along with friends, family and hospital staff, rallied round to organise their wedding in just 24 hours.

The couple tied the knot at Leeds General Infirmary, but sadly Donna lost her fight and died from kidney and heart failure just six days later.

Paul, 40, said: "We had been engaged for nine years and wanted to get married abroad, but we just never got round to it.

"As soon as the doctors told us that Donna didn't have long left, I went immediately down to the registry office to collect the paperwork and start organising.

"Everyone was incredible - we got flowers, a buffet, a dress, suits and rings all sorted in just a day.

"It meant such a lot to Donna that I went to all the effort to make sure she had the special day we'd talked about.

"It doesn't seem fair that I only got to call her my wife for six days, but I know I made those last days special."

Donna suffered from diabetes and her health first started to deteriorate three years ago. She had four operations on her eyes and it was thought she had turned a corner.

But at Christmas last year she suffered severe vomiting and Paul was forced to take her to hospital on Christmas day. Donna was briefly released from hospital in March before returning and being transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where they were told the devastating news that she would not be leaving hospital.

Paul called in favours from friends, family and local business to organise their big day.

The couple's son, Kian, was best man for the wedding, and Donna's step-sister, Laura Adams, sang John Legend's All Of Me.

Paul said: "It was an incredibly moving day - everyone was in tears.

"I helped Kian with his speech and we tried to make it light-hearted to give the wedding a bit of everything.

"Donna picked up for the day and we had photos done in the rose garden on the roof, before she became too tried at about half four."

He added: "In the days that followed I did everything I could to keep her spirits up.

"She'd had a falling out with some old friends over 10 years ago and I arranged for them to come and see her in hospital.

"She also had a phone call with Danny McNamara, the lead singer of Embrace, and he was planning on coming to visit her over the weekend."

Donna was transferred from LGI to St James Hospital where she passed away surrounded by friends and family on April 24.


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