Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

06:00 13 April 2013

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

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Ipswich Crown Court

A 19-year old man who met up with a 13-year-old girl and exchanged text messages with her despite being given a police caution for kissing her several months earlier has been sentenced to 21 months youth detention.

The vandals tore through Bury St Edmunds

A drunken “night of madness” saw vandals rack up over £5,000 of damage to cars, pubs and property as they roamed the streets of Bury St Edmunds.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral overlooking colourful displays in the Abbey Gardens

Suffolk’s most important religious building has been awarded a £300,000 Government grant to pay for urgent roof repairs.

Josephine Murphy

An 86-year-old woman who had gone missing from Clacton has been found safe and well

Aftermath of a barn fire in Holton.

A television antiques expert has appealed for help rebuilding his eco-friendly arts centre in Suffolk after a major blaze destroyed the historic sawmill that was to be its showroom and workshops.

Tim Yeo

An outgoing Suffolk MP has denied reports he stands to make more than £500,000 from the sale of his second home, which was part-subsidised by the taxpayer – saying he plans to keep the London property.

Stansted Airport

Aircraft pilots were targeted with lasers around Stansted Airport 45 times last year.

Darsham Nurseries head chef Lola DeMille and chef Tom Eagle in the cafe where they are donating money from one of the dishes to the World Land Trust.

An international conservation charity based in Suffolk is one of three organisations to benefit from a new campaign raising awareness about the impact of meat production on health, welfare and the environment.

Suffolk County Council's base at Endeavour House

Up to 23 jobs could go in a major shake-up of Suffolk County Council’s education services.

Latitude Festival, at the Henham Estate near Southwold

Suffolk poet Luke Wright has seen the Latitude festival grow from a modest boutique gathering in 2006 to one of Britain’s biggest music and arts events.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages