Tributes to woman who fulfilled her dying wish

Jean Nicholls and David Nicholls
Jean Nicholls and David Nicholls
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who lost her battle with cancer just 30 minutes after marrying her partner.

Jean Nicholls, of Keble Close, Stamford, fulfilled her last wish on Thursday last week by marrying her partner of three years David in a bedside cere- mony at Peterborough City Hospital.

In a superhuman one-day effort, David secured a special marriage licence, a registrar to perform the ceremony, bought the rings and organised for family to go to the hospital.

Within half-an-hour of saying ‘I do’ grandmother Jean, 66, lost her three-week battle against cancer with her new husband and children by her side.

Her husband David said getting married had been “a dream come true for both of them” and thanked the hospital staff for their kindness on behalf of the family.

Jean and David, 60, had been planning to get married in the summer. But Jean started to suffer from a bad back in July and a Cat scan taken just after Christmas confirmed that a shadow on her lung was cancerous.

Her condition deteriorated quickly and she was rushed into hospital, where doctors found blood clots on her lungs and secondary cancer in her bones.

Doctors warned the family that Jean was not going to survive and staff ensured that she was kept comfortable as David rushed to arrange the ceremony.

Jean’s son Andi Sheldon, 30, said: “I sat with Mum and she held my hand and said she loved me and told me ‘don’t be sad’ and I told her my 13-month-old son Bailey had taken his first steps and she smiled.

“She was famous for her sense of humour and she even joked with nurses that she would try not to be too late.

“She really was hanging on for the wedding but even then we had to bring it forward to 6pm as the doctors warned us it was now or never.”

In her hospital bed, surrounded by her children, Andi, Jenifer and Sharron and their spouses Becky, Nigel and Mark as well as David’s three grown-up children, Debbie, Amanda and Richard, she summoned up the strength to put the ring on David’s finger and whisper ‘I do’.

Andi added: “Everyone was crying – family, doctors and nurses but David managed to be strong for the service although his voice was shaking.

“She passed away soon after and we are all pleased her last moments were happy.

“We feel we have a gained a new family and this has really brought us together.”

Dr Seth Makin, from the oncology ward, said: “Mrs Nicholls was a truly lovely lady and everyone on the ward wanted to make sure both her and her husband received all the help we could give.

“The civil ceremony was a private affair, with their family surrounding them.

“Our sincerest condolences go to Mr Nicholls and the couple’s friends and relatives at this sad time.”

Mrs Nicholls funeral will be held at Peterborough Crematorium at 3pm on Friday next week.