Hospice makes Donna and Mark's wedding dreams come true

Date published: 18 September 2020

Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Royton organised a couple’s big day within 72 hours to make their wedding dreams come true for a patient.

Proving that nothing gets in the way of true love, a Chadderton couple overcame all the hurdles put in front of them, including a last-minute postponement, to finally tie the knot in a special service at the Hospice.

Bride to be, Donna Friar, thought that she’d ticked all the boxes when she’d arranged to marry her partner, Mark Davis, who was receiving pain management at Dr Kershaw’s.

Turning up for her big day which she’d planned with the registrar that very morning, she was told that Mark was on strong pain relief and was not fit enough for his big day and his preference was to wait until the following week.

Donna, all set in her beautiful dress, walked away emotional but ready to plan the day again.

She said: “I was so disappointed at first and thought he didn’t want to marry me.”

That disappointment soon changed though as the couple tied the knot just a few days later, surrounded by their close family.

Second time round, in her white and pink floral dress, Donna had another worry that with the new Covid rules she would have to choose between members of her close family to keep it to the rule of six, brought in on her actual wedding day, September 14, by the government.

However, with help from the Hospice staff, who contacted Oldham Council, they confirmed that current Covid regulations for weddings state that 20 people are able to attend as long as it was outside and social distancing measures were observed.

Donna and Mark quickly contacted their family and friends to invite them along to their celebrations.

Those unable to attend the service were able to watch the ceremony via a live-stream link which was being monitored by staff nurse, Chloe.

Chadderton couple, Donna, 58, and Mark, 55, have been together for 11 years, five of which they have been engaged after they met in their local pub, the Colliers Arms.

They became a happy couple thanks to the matchmaking skills of both their friends.

Donna Friar has now finally become Mrs Donna Davis.

Donna said: “It was such a magical day!

"Words can’t even describe the feeling, we can’t thank all the staff at Dr Kershaw’s enough for organising it for us and making it so special.”

Mark said the staff at the Hospice had been fantastic in their care for him:

“I’ve been looked after so well since being here, the staff at Kershaw’s have been brilliant and have bent over backwards to help me and to make our day so special," he added.

Hospice Nurse Beth, who has been caring for Mark, said: “Mark and Donna’s wedding day was a true example of what Dr Kershaw’s is all about, making patient’s wishes come true no matter how big or small.

"It was amazing to see how many people came together to pull off their special day, from the nurses and doctors, to the events team, maintenance team, florist, bakery and even our very own Dr Kershaw’s shop who kindly lent our nurses fascinators so staff could look the part.

"I was privileged to be able to get so involved and to make it a day Mark and Donna could cherish forever (especially after being engaged for five years)."

Dr Kershaw’s would like to say a special thank you to Keira’s Wishes for funding their afternoon tea and decorations.

Also thanks to the Oldham Registrars for fast-tracking the couples civil ceremony, Sparkles Cakes for providing the wedding cake, Arundel Bakery for their support with a buffet and additional wedding cake and Sarah Jayne Floral Design for the bride's beautiful bouquet.

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.