A brave cancer patient who discovered he only has weeks to live has tied the knot with his fiancee during a highly emotional ceremony at his hospital bedside.
Keith Marriott, 62, and long-term partner Liz Murray, 58, of Bolsover, were forced to bring their marriage plans forward after engineer Keith learned last Wednesday that he only has weeks to live after being diagnosed with renal cancer.
Liz said: “Reflecting on the sad news we want people to know that we intend to fight this all the way and make the most of whatever time Keith has left.
“So we brought our wedding forward and we were overwhelmed with the support and the way our special day came together.”
The defiant couple married at Chesterfield Royal Hospital on Friday afternoon during a joyous occasion surrounded by friends and family and the hospital also provided a reception for the guests to celebrate.
Care manager Liz, who works for Carers Trust East Midlands, added: “Our wedding was brought forward to March 13 which was quite apt because we have been together for 13 years.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the support and the way our special day came together. I can never put into words my deepest thanks.”
Bridesmaid Rebecca Volli, of Chesterfield, told how everyone pulled together at short notice to organise and make Keith and Liz’s wedding day possible.
She said: “It was meant to be a church wedding but sadly Keith became so ill he couldn’t leave the hospital so the paperwork was re-done very quickly so he and Liz could be married at his bedside.
“But as everyone came together to help I was by no means the hero in helping to make the wedding possible. The heroes were the people and businesses who gave up their time at such short notice.
“Within 12 hours of putting out a plea for help we had 90per cent of the wedding organised.”
Those who helped out included the register office Sassi Bride, the Cake Booth, Blue Horseshoe wedding events, Bridal Creative, You and Eye, JJS Flowers, A-Line cars, The Old Smithy cafe, Evolution Printing, Chesterfield Royal Hospital and many others.
Liz added: “It was an absolutely amazing day. Everyone was brilliant. I managed not to lose it and we were on such a high. It was fantastic. It was a celebration of life.
“Keith got very emotional and enjoyed seeing people who came from all over the place that we had not seen for years including Keith’s cycling pals and our colleagues.”
Keen cyclist Keith’s bestman was his brother David, with whom he used to run the Marriott Cycle Shop, in Chesterfield, and Liz was given away by her son Neil Blenkinsop.
The wedding plans and appeals for the couple, who first met at a club in Worksop, also went up via social media and the couple has received congratulations from around the world.
Rebecca added: “I had held it together emotionally, but on the day of the wedding I got up and just kept crying and it was almost impossible to put on my makeup.
“Liz is such a lovely person and puts so much into the community. Her and Keith make an exceptionally warm couple. They are like peas in a pod.”