Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

Elmswell: Gemma Marriage gives back to hospital unit where she got married

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 April 2013

WHEN couples agree to marry they plan on spending the rest of their lives together.

But for Colin and Gemma Marriage, from Elmswell, their married life was cut desperately short due to illness.

They were husband and wife for only 10 days when Mr Marriage passed away from cancer at the age of 40.

They had a civil ceremony at the Macmillan unit at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds on July 7 last year in front of close family and friends.

They had been planning a wedding for the following month at Alpheton Hall Barns, but as Mr Marriage’s condition was worsening they decided to bring the date forward.

Mrs Marriage, 30, said: “He was admitted to hospital on the Wednesday because he started feeling unwell again and the doctor basically said he didn’t know if he had days or weeks left or what.”

Mrs Marriage said the couple - who had worked at the same company, but grew close after joining a scuba diving club in Ipswich - were in a serious relationship when Mr Marriage was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in October 2011.

On how they coped with the news, she said: “You just have to try and do the best. My priority was him and just trying to do whatever I can to make him comfortable and happy and try and keep a smile on his face.”

Mrs Marriage said she had actually been planning on proposing to him last year on February 29 - as it was a leap year - but she “chickened out” and he ended up popping the question to her the following month during a trip to the Cheltenham Festival.

However, it turned out Mr Marriage, who worked for Foxhall landfill in Ipswich, had had the ring in his pocket all along on February 29.

Mrs Marriage, who now works for a conservation charity in Colchester, said they had 24 hours to organise the wedding, which was held in the unit’s waiting room. It was decorated with sunflowers, and there was a small buffet and cake.

“One of the things Colin really wanted to do was stand up for the ceremony, which he did, but obviously it knocked him out for quite a few hours afterwards,” Mrs Marriage said.

She added: “I think it was really important to him to be married and to have that experience because he knew it would make me happy and I think it made him happy too.”

She said the staff and volunteers on the Macmillan unit - where Mr Marriage underwent a course of chemotherapy - had been “so supportive” of her and her husband throughout his time in the day unit and on the ward.

“I was able to stay with him on the ward from our wedding day onwards, sleeping on a fold-out bed right next to his, which gave both of us comfort in his last days.”

Mrs Marriage has donated £1,500 given as wedding gifts as well as donations at her husband’s funeral to the Macmillan unit to help others “who find themselves in the same terrible situation”.

“It was not an easy place to be, and anything which can make that time more comfortable or bearable makes a massive difference,” she said.

Jan Bloomfield, executive director with responsibility for fundraising at the hospital, said the hospital was “very grateful” to her for the generous donation she has made in her husband’s memory.

Mrs Marriage described her husband as “kind, generous and loyal,” adding it is the “day-to-day things” she misses the most.

They enjoyed scuba diving and following horseracing, and Mr Marriage also enjoyed sea fishing. His boat was used to scatter his ashes just off the coast of Felixstowe.

Describing life without her husband, Mrs Marriage said: “It feels like a completely different lifetime now.”

0 comments

A man in his 20s has been stabbed in the back in a Sudbury cemetery this morning.

A mother died trying to save her daughter who rushed back to her bedroom to get family pets while their Braintree house was engulfed in flames, an inquest has heard.

Bristol musician Rozi Plain, who has toured with the likes of Devendra Banhart and KT Tunstall, will perform a charity gig in Suffolk on Sunday, April 2.

Police have borrowed an HGV from a Suffolk company to get a better vantage point and catch lorry drivers breaking the law.

A Suffolk playwright has teamed up with an author from north of the county border to adapt a locally-published book for TV.

Singer Peter Andre will be meeting his fans and signing copies of his 2017 calendar and new perfume at the Buttermarket in Ipswich.

A teenager arrested on suspicion of committing a rape in Newmarket has been bailed by detectives.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24