Operation to join Joann and Neil a complete success

A cancer-stricken bride married her sweetheart in hospital after fearing her big day would be cancelled because of her treatment.

Joann Howells, 46, had resigned herself to postponing her wedding to partner Neil Ward, 45, due to her schedule of lung cancer treatment.

But when she disclosed her disappointment to staff at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, they set about ensuring her dream would still be fulfilled on their planned day.

An emergency licence was granted to enable them to wed in the hospital chapel, and an appeal on a local radio station led to donations of flowers, decorations, food and drink by businesses.

Hospital chefs baked the wedding cake and supplied canapes and sandwiches for the reception in a day room at the hospital.

And nurses and other staff worked through their lunch breaks to ensure the rooms were transformed, including scattering rose petals on the chapel floor.

Joann, from East Preston, said: “It was so special, just overwhelming, with everybody helping to make our day come together.”

She added: “I wanted to go home so I could get married, and I was just thinking I was stuck in hospital, and then they just did it all for us.”

Husband Neil said: “We cannot thank people enough. You don’t realise how kind people are until something like this happens. It is really, really amazing.”

Joann went home following eight days in hospital. Her daughter, Jessica Kelleway, 23, said: “They could not have put a bigger smile on her face.”


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