Terminally-ill bride’s joy over Leeds hospital ward wedding

Marie Upton slips the wedding ring on to Alex Templeman's finger.
Marie Upton slips the wedding ring on to Alex Templeman's finger.
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A terminally ill woman married her long-term partner in a “fairytale” wedding on a Leeds hospital ward.

Marie Upton, who has a chronic lung condition, was married to Alex Templeman after the ward sister arranged the ceremony at St James’s Hospital in less than 24 hours.

Mrs Templeman, 59, is in the final stages of her illness and the couple were determined to marry after having to postpone the big day several times before.

Mr Templeman, a cancer patient himself, said: “It was a fairytale come true. It was out of this world.”

The couple, from Gipton, Leeds, have been together for 25 years and have four children each from previous relationships.

Nine years ago previously healthy Mrs Templeman was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“They think she might not be here for Christmas,” her new husband said.

“I’ve been the person holding it together for her family and my own family, but it’s horrendous.”

The couple were hit by a second blow when in August Mr Templeman, 61, was diagnosed with cancer of the throat, mouth, and liver.

Staff on ward 12 at St James’s, were Mrs Templeman is being cared for, knew how much the couple wanted to marry and last Wednesday evening senior sister Michaela Land offered to arrange the wedding.

Within 24 hours the paperwork was arranged, Mrs Templeman’s dress brought in, and her hair, make-up and nails done on the ward by staff from the Macmillan Robert Ogden Centre at St James’s.

Decorations were put up by the ward sister and medics bought a cake and iced it.

“In the morning Marie was a bit poorly but when she realised she was getting married, it gave her a big lift,” said the groom, who did not even have time to buy a suit. “It meant so much – it was brilliant.”

Mr Templeman is now hoping to arrange another celebration on the ward for the couple’s family, which includes 37 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He thanked all the staff and said Sister Land was “fantastic”.

The senior sister told the YEP: “I was just glad to be able to do it for them.”

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