Most girls dream of their father walking them down the aisle on their wedding day. But for Sophie it was something she had never really thought about until the day her dad was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
Sophie and her fiancé Grant had been engaged for 3 years before Steve first became unwell. They immediately booked their wedding date for October 2016 but then Steve’s condition suddenly deteriorated. As Steve became more poorly Sophie realised that she couldn’t imagine getting married without her dad by her side so they moved the wedding forward – setting a date just six weeks away. The whole family rallied together. Sophie’s aunt made her beautiful wedding dress, her cousin did the flowers and Grant’s mum baked the wedding cake.
When Steve was admitted to St Clare a week before the big day there was only one thing on his mind – “I’m going to my daughter’s wedding” – he told everyone who asked. And the staff at St Clare made sure his dream would become a reality.
A specially designed wheelchair was arranged to enable Steve to be at Sophie’s side as she walked down the aisle. Zoe, a nursing assistant at St Clare, volunteered to accompany Steve to the wedding on her day off meaning her mum Sue could be there for Sophie on her special day. A member of the Hospice at Home team even blow-dried Sue’s hair on the day of the wedding to make sure the mother of the bride looked beautiful.
For Sophie it was all worth it to see her dad arrive on the morning of the wedding: “Zoe turned up with dad and as soon as I saw him there I thought ‘my day is already perfect’ just because he was there. I just couldn’t imagine him not being there.”
Sophie and Grant were married at Gaynes Park in Epping on Monday November 23 2015 with close friends and family. As Sue and Steve walked Sophie down the aisle there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Steve’s grandson Ben, the apple of his eye, was the perfect ring bearer. Everyone said it was the most touching wedding they had ever been to.
Sophie said: “Without St Clare we wouldn’t have been able to do this, they made it possible for dad to be at my wedding. We can’t thank them enough.”