A YOUNG man married his wife in hospital just a few weeks before he died of cancer.
Paul Granger, 24, fulfilled his last wish of marrying his doting fiancée Kim Duckmanton in the Teenage Cancer Trust’s unit at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge on June 5. Sadly, he died on June 29 and his funeral was held on Wednesday.
The couple, of Ironmonger Street, Stamford, had planned to get married at St George’s Church in the town next month.
But after Paul’s condition suddenly deteriorated, he had to go back into hsopital and their wedding took place at his bedside.
The wedding dress Kim planned to wear wasn’t ready so she wore a dress a friend fetched from the couple’s flat and Paul wore a purple shirt on top of his pyjamas.
They had already bought a wedding ring for Kim but they had to go to a jewellers to buy Paul’s on their way to the hospital for the final time.
Kim said: “It was a really lovely day but obviously very emotional as well. Paul said it was the happiest day of his life.
“Everybody at the hospital was absolutely amazing. They got balloons for us and a cake and sorted out the hospital chaplain. Afterwards, we had restaurant meals delivered to the hospital and watched films together.
“The nurses were just amazing. I can’t thank them enough. I stayed in the room with him and they looked after me as well as him. They just really cared.”
Paul, an IT technician at New College Stamford, was diagnosed with a rare cancer called ruabdomyosarcoma in December, a week after he celebrated his 24th birthday.
He underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and was told in April that he was in remission. Because the cancer was so rare all the treatment was done at Addenbrookes Hospital.
But just a few weeks later after becoming unsteady on his feet, the couple received the devastating news that the cancer had spread.
Kim said: “He had been suffering with headaches so he went to the doctors. He was only diagnosed when I took him to A & E because his eye had swelled up. That’s when they found the tumour.
“The doctors said he should be OK. He had such a positive outlook on life, he did with everything. He always put everyone else first.”
She said when the couple were told the cancer had spread to Paul’s spine the news was “devastating”.
Kim added: “The cancer was just so aggresive. It all happened so quickly.”
The couple spent the diamond jubilee weekend together at home and had planned to return Paul to hospital on Wednesday but his condition deteriorated so he returned a day earlier than planned.
When they arrived back at the hospital, doctors suggested the couple should think about moving their wedding and they got married that evening surrounded by family.
It was the first wedding that had been held on the unit, which only opened in February for 14 to 24-year-olds.
The couple were in the midst of planning a big wedding, which was due to take place next month.
The pair, who are both from Peterborough, had been a couple for five years and met when Paul dropped his glasses in a nightclub and Kim picked them up. They had got engaged on Christmas Day, 2010.
Kim, who works as a teacher at Heltwate Special School in Peterborough, said: “I was completely blown away when he proposed. I’d bought him an iPad and he said ‘I’ve got something better than that’ and got out the ring.
“He was such a positive person. He was so much fun and loved to make everyone laugh. He didn’t mind playing the fool and would do things to be funny.
“ I remember one time he was jumping around on a pogo stick at a barbecue and he went through the neighbour’s fence.
Paul’s funeral took place on Wednesday at Peterborough Crematorium. Donations of £794 were collected, which will be divided between Cancer Research UK and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Kim has also been overwhelmed after many companies she had booked for the church wedding gave her a full refund on hearing the sad news, including St George’s Church, Stamford; Stamford Arts Centre; Moss Bros Suit Hire, Peterborough; Keepsakes of Yaxley; Walkabout Photography, Peterborough; Steve Bean wedding guitarist; Whittlesey Catering Hire and Headlands Hotel in Newquay.
They also received refunds from a number of companies that had been involved in Kim’s hen do and Kim also thanked Paul Johnson estate agents and New College Stamford for their understanding.