Hospice couple make wedding memories

01 May 2015

Most weddings take months to plan. However, when one of the patients in Rowcroft Hospice wished to bring his wedding forward, with the help of family, friends and staff at the hospice, the special day was planned and took place within eight days.

Gareth Windsor, 34, has cancer of the bile ducts, and is being cared for in Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit.

He and his partner of six years, Vanessa Isaac, had planned to marry at the Imperial Hotel later next month but when Gareth's illness worsened they made the decision to marry sooner.

Gareth said: “I've received the best possible care at Rowcroft, without it I wouldn't have been well enough to get married.”

Vanessa, 25, added: “Rowcroft is not the scary place you'd think it to be, the grounds are beautiful.”

The staff at Rowcroft assisted with the wedding planning by liaising with the Registrar to make them aware of the couple's special circumstances.

There was also a contingency plan in place; in case Gareth wasn't able to leave the Inpatient Unit on the day of the wedding, a ceremony was to be conducted at Rowcroft.

Happily, the couple exchanged their vows on Saturday 25th April at a ceremony at Torquay’s Imperial Hotel, and was attended by 80 of their family members and friends, including their one year old son Callum and three year old daughter Frankie.

The ceremony was followed by a reception at the Boots and Laces pub in Plainmoor which had been specially decorated for the occasion and was attended by nearly 500 guests.

Dr George Walker, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Rowcroft, said: “Our philosophy at the hospice is to make every day the best possible day and we were honoured to play a small part in Gareth and Vanessa's wedding.”

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