Leeds: A man organised his wedding in less than 24 hours so he could marry his terminally ill fiancée before it was too late. Paul Wheatley had been with his partner, Donna, for 12 years when she was admitted to hospital with kidney and heart problems.
On April 17, 2013, the couple from Leeds were given the devastating news that the 36-year-old had just weeks, if not days, to live.
Wheatley, along with friends, family and hospital staff, rallied round to organise the couple’s wedding in just 24 hours.
They tied the knot at Leeds General Infirmary, but tragically, Donna lost her fight with kidney and heart failure just six days later.
Wheatley (40), said: ‘We had been engaged for nine years and wanted to get married abroad, but we just never got around to it. As soon as the doctors told us that Donna didn’t have long, I went immediately to the registry office to collect the paperwork and start organising.”
He added, “Everyone was incredible — we got flowers, a buffet, a dress, suits and rings all sorted in just a day. It meant such a lot to Donna that I went to all the effort to make sure she had the special day we’d talked about. It doesn’t seem fair that I only got to call her my wife for six days, but I know I made those last days special.”
Donna suffered from diabetes and her health first started to deteriorate three years ago. She had four operations on her eyes and it was thought she had turned a corner. But at Christmas last year she suffered severe vomiting and Wheatley was forced to take her to hospital on Christmas Day. Shockingly, tests revealed she had terminal heart and kidney failure.