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Patient marries long-term love on Royal Preston Hospital ward

Posted on - 13th October, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, People, Preston News
Paul and Deirdre Holt Pic: Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A man who was taken to hospital with suspected cancer has married his long-term love on a Royal Preston Hospital ward.

Paul and Deirdre Holt, who have known each other for 36 years and been together for five,
tied the knot in hospital when Paul’s condition deteriorated after being admitted onto the ward.

Wedding bells rang out on the Enhanced High Care Unit after Paul was tested for suspected cancer following a fall at home.

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66-year-old Paul complained of a bad back before falling and he has since been tested for suspected cancer along with further issues affecting his kidneys, lungs and heart.

After getting permission from Trust Lead Chaplain, Reverand Martin McDonald, the couple got the
paperwork signed, and staff on the ward decorated the room for the wedding with a table, candle, some heart decorations, hot drinks and snacks.

Following the nuptials, Deirdre, 61, said: “It wasn’t looking good. The chaplain came to see Paul and said we could get married, which we had planned – although not like this!

“At first I just thought Paul was confused, but the Chaplain spoke to me and said he could plan it, but I’d have to get a letter from the doctor and go to the Registry Office to get paperwork signed.”

Paul and Deirdre with their chaplains Pic: Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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She added: “My friend Jan drove me as I was emotional, and we went to the Registry Office and got
everything sorted. Jan also made my bouquet up in the car while she waited for me.”

Paul’s condition has since improved and he was able to move wards.

He said: “The staff were fabulous, I couldn’t even put the ring on the right finger and look at me now!”

Hospital staff celebrate with the happy couple Pic: Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Around 40 weddings a year go ahead in UK hospitals.

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Lead Chaplain, Reverend Martin McDonald said: “It was a real privilege to be able to marry Paul and
Deirdre on the Enhanced High Care Ward.

“The ward staff really pulled out all the stops to make it a very special occasion, going above and beyond,
showing care and compassion to both Paul and Deirdre. Hospital weddings, whilst rare, are always a joy and we wish Paul and Deirdre every blessing.”

Amanda Jolly, EHCU Unit Manager, said: “I’ve worked here for 20 years and not seen a wedding on the ward, so it was nice for the staff to be part of someone’s special day, putting some decorations up in the family room. It lifted everyone’s spirits, it was nice to have a celebration on the ward, a joyous occasion.”

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