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Parents grant dying boy's wish by marrying at his bedside

By Rod Minchin

The parents of a terminally ill boy have fulfilled his dying wish by getting married at his bedside in hospital.

Corey Edwards, from Teignmouth, Devon, wanted to see his parents Craig (28) and Jemma (21) tie the knot.

The five-year-old was diagnosed with a complex congenital heart defect at the age of seven months and since then underwent eight open-heart operations and other treatments.

Corey has been on the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Children's Hospital since January and when doctors gave his parents the devastating news that he may not live much longer, Mr and Mrs Edwards decided to get married.

They had been engaged for three years but plans to tie the knot were put on hold due to the birth of their daughters, two-year-old Isabelle and six-month-old Caitlyn, and Corey's ill health.

When they learnt of their son's wish, they felt there was no time like the present and, with the help of staff and friends made at the hospital, they were able to organise the whole service within 48 hours.

They made history when they became the first couple to marry at the hospital but had to get special permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The law allows couples to marry in hospital if one of them is desperately ill but that did not apply in this case.

A law dating back to Henry VIII gives the Archbishop of Canterbury special dispensation to allow weddings in hospital for "pastoral reasons".

Mr Edwards, a council worker, said: "A couple of weeks ago we were told they didn't think he would go home. We keep hoping that he will but it just looks less likely each day.

"We both planned to get married years ago but decided we wouldn't get married without Corey there, so the only way we could do it was in hospital.

"He's asked quite a few times why we are not married, so we thought we would make it a special day and cheer him up a bit."

Belfast Telegraph


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