Terminally ill father sees his daughter married at Sandwell Hospital

22nd May 2015

Staff from Sandwell Hospital were able to grant a dying patient’s wish to see his daughter married as they brought the wedding to his hospital bed.

Sarah Atkins and Matthew Brown were married on the 19th May on AMU A at Sandwell Hospital in front of friends, family and the guest of honour Barry Atkins, Sarah’s terminally ill father who heartbreakingly is close to the end of his life.

The teams in both AMU A and the Chaplaincy department pulled together to help with the preparation for the service by arranging the marriage certificate and decorating the quiet room for the ceremony. Sister Jody Stubbs is proud of what her team were able to do for the family.

“It has been a pleasure to be able to help and support the family to bring a few moments of happiness at such a difficult time. It warms my heart to see that their friends and family came dressed up to help to make the wedding as beautiful as possible” Jody said.

The Vicar for the service was Leonhard Cox who spoke of how extraordinary it was for those close to Barry to make it possible to see his daughter get married: “The most important thing to do was to keep the focus on Matthew and Sarah and remember that these two people are going to love and protect each other through all of life’s trials and tribulations.”

Sarah was thankful to everyone within the unit but offered special thanks to a couple of people in particular: “I would like to thank both Reverend Graham Field and Leonhard our vicar for helping us to bring this all together and for performing the ceremony for us as if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have been able to get it done.

“I would also like to thank one nurse in particular, Alex Abbott who is a staff nurse. Alex has been great in helping us through this whole situation and setting up the room for us and for also helping to care for my dad.”

The hospital has seen weddings on site in the past, but it is very rare that it is not the patient getting married, which is proof that kindness from friends, family and hospital staff can give those who need it a little bit of happiness.

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