Bride switches wedding date so seriously-ill mother could see her walk down the aisle
A Northern Ireland bride has brought her wedding forward so that her terminally-ill mother could be part of her special day.
Laura Fullerton (35), who is from Ballymoney, said it "meant the world" to have her mum alongside her as she tied the knot.
Her 62-year-old mother Isobel Milliken fell ill last year, a short time after attending the Christmas market in Belfast, and doctors didn't think she would survive the festive season.
At the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, Mrs Milliken was diagnosed with sepsis and pneumonia.
The mother-of-six slipped into a coma for three weeks and she was in hospital for three months.
For a time she and her loved ones could only communicate via sign language.
While Mrs Milliken was in hospital doctors discovered she had lung cancer.
"Hearing about the cancer was a total shock, especially after mummy came through so much," added Laura.
Medics initially thought they could treat Mrs Milliken's cancer but later tests revealed that the disease has spread and they couldn't operate.
After receiving the heartbreaking prognosis Laura and her 37-year-old husband-to-be Stephen Fullerton decided to bring their wedding forward from next July to late last month.
"I really wanted my mother to be at the wedding. She was determined to attend it as well," added Laura.
"And she was in great spirits for the ceremony and for the reception at the Tullyglass House Hotel in Ballymena.
"She nearly out-sat all the other guests at the end of the evening."
Mrs Milliken says the wedding was 'wonderful' adding: "It couldn't have worked out better. Everyone looked fabulous and the hotel had all the Christmas decorations up, which only added to the spectacle."
Laura, who has two daughters, Alana (10) and Kayleigh (6), says her mother knows exactly what is happening with her and "she is being very strong for the whole family".
And now the next target for the Milliken family is to give Isobel a magical Christmas.
Laura added: "Mummy was in a coma last year and it was a miserable Christmas for us all
"But it's a time of year that my mother loves.
"So we are determined to make 2017 a magnificent Christmas for her and my father Ronnie, who has been her devoted carer.
"Every day we have with mum is marvellous and there'll be 20 or 30 of us all together on Boxing Day."
The Millikens have raised over £4,500 for the Intensive Care Unit of the Causeway Hospital and specialist nurses through skydives, marathons and pub quizzes.
"We can't thank everyone enough for what they have done for my mother," Laura said.