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Couple’s thanks after they marry in Leeds hospital ward

Paul and Donna Wheatley with son Kian.

Paul and Donna Wheatley with son Kian.

A woman married her sweetheart on a Leeds hospital ward after kind-hearted staff helped them organise the weddding in one day.

Paul and Donna Wheatley were married at Leeds General Infirmary, where Donna was being treated.

The 37-year-old has a life-limiting illness so the couple, who have been engaged for 12 years, were keen to hold the ceremony.

In less than 24 hours, the groom, family, friends and hospital staff helped arrange the wedding – including a marriage licence, a cake, flowers, catering and the rings.

Their nine-year-old son Kian was the best man.

Paul said getting married meant a lot to them: “Donna was really happy.

“It was a really good day and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the staff.

“They were as excited as we were and they were all crying.”

Donna, from Bramley, Leeds, was admitted to hospital on Christmas Day with long-term health problems linked to diabetes, which she has suffered from all her life.

The couple had talked of marriage but hadn’t set a date.

“We had been engaged for 12 years, but we never got round to it,” said Paul, 40.

“We’d been talking about it and made plans.”

When he suggested it late last week, she thought he was joking.

“She said ‘don’t be stupid’,” he said.

But with the help of family and hospital staff from ward 5, he arranged the day.

“We all pulled together,” Paul said. “I ran down to get the licence, then back up to the hospital to get a doctor to sign it.”

He said a florists in Farsley stayed open late to do the flowers and a cafe agreed to do the catering with just a few hours notice.

They borrowed Donna’s dress, Paul bought new suits for him and his son and staff made sure her friends could come onto the ward to do her hair and make-up.

After the ceremony, the team also ensured Donna could go onto the roof garden of the LGI for photographs with bridesmaid Donna Nelson.

“The staff on the ward were brilliant,” Paul added.

Following the wedding, his wife was moved to the high dependency unit at St James’s Hospital.

 

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