A British man with a terminal diagnosis was able to see his daughter get married, thanks to a special wedding ceremony organized by staff at Sandwell General Hospital. Sarah Atkins and Matthew Brown had been planning a small ceremony at a registrar’s office, when Sarah’s father was admitted to the hospital.
Atkins’ father has pancreatic cancer with a terminal prognosis. After his health took a downward turn—he wasn’t expected to make it till the end of the week—Atkins and Brown decided to marry earlier than planned, so her father could witness the union.
“It didn’t feel right if Dad couldn’t be there, the devoted daughter told the Birmingham Mail.
The ceremony occurred at the hospital, which allowed Atkins’ father the opportunity to fulfill the traditional fatherly role of giving away the bride in front of friends and family.
According to staff at the hospital, it is not uncommon for weddings to take place in the care facility—however usually it a patient’s wedding.
“The hospital was amazing at helping us make it really special,” said Atkins.
The hospital ward was decorated for Atkins and her family, and the bride was even given a separate room to ready herself in.
Atkins’ father, although wheelchair bound, still accompanied her down the makeshift aisle.
“We came down the corridor together, with Dad in his wheelchair and he was able to give me away,” said Atkins.