This is the heart-wrenching moment a terminally-ill cancer sufferer wed his sweetheart as he lay desperately ill in his hospital bed.
Felix Glenny, 23, said “I do” to Cola Weller, 22, a month after he found out he had incurable bowel cancer.
As the father of her children, he was determined to marry his girlfriend of three years and they celebrated their special day in the hospital on Friday.
Felix was admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital in November, after suffering for several weeks with what he thought were stomach cramps.
But on November 11, doctors found a large tumour in his bowels, and broke the shattering news to the family.
At first it was thought the tumour could be removed, but later tests showed that it had spread too far, and Felix was told he had just a few weeks to live.
The couple, who have two children, Raph, two and Pearl, four months, decided to marry as soon as possible, and invited their friends and family to the ceremony.
Ryan was able to sit in a wheelchair during the moving service, which was led by Revd Steve Spencer, the senior chaplain at the hospital.
Yesterday (Sun) Cola, who works as a hairdresser, said: “After a second operation last Friday they discovered that the cancer had spread everywhere.
“It’s devastating – that’s it now, there’s no stopping it.
“I left the room when they told us because it was too much to take in.
“After it all settled down and we got our heads round it as much as we could, Felix just said he wanted to get married as soon as we could. So we arranged it for yesterday.
“It was a really amazing day, I had a lot of fun.
“It was crazy because we were really happy, but it was so emotional.
“It was a lovely day and we’ve been thinking about it ever since, it was just perfect.
“We got married because we are in love of course, but we had to do it as soon as possible before Ryan deteriorates and we found out there was nothing more the doctors could do.
“When we found out the cancer was terminal we just wanted to do it straight away.
“Felix managed to get out of bed and we went over to the the hospital social club and had a ceremony and the Chaplain from the hospital came over and gave us a blessing.
“It was a really nice day and everyone really helped us out. All of our family was there and a lot of our friends.
“We had a photographer and I’m just waiting to see all the lovely photos.”
Felix, who is also known as Ryan, and Cola met through mutual friends in Lower Stoke, Kent, in August 2010, where they now live.
They quickly fell for one another and within a year the couple had moved in together and Cola was pregnant with her first child, Ralph.
Felix, who works for a water supply company, and Cola lived happily together for two years and had a second child, Pearl, who is now four months old.
But only weeks after his second child was born Felix was struck with excruciating stomach pains and couldn’t make it to work.
But when the couple visited the hospital and called doctors, they were repeatedly told that Felix was not seriously ill.
Their concerns were ignored despite the fact that three of Felix’s family members have recently died of bowel cancer – his mother and grandfather last year, and his aunt in 2007.
Cola, who has since taken Felix’s surname, added: “He was ill two weeks prior to being taken in to hospital, we kept going up there and they kept turning us away, saying it was a bug.
“We had three ambulances out. We rang 111 and we told him all his symptoms, and they sent ambulances. Twice they took us to hospital.
“Once they said it was a kidney infection, another time they said it was irritable bowels and one of the other times they didn’t even take us to the hospital because they said there was nothing wrong with him.
“In A&E they said it was a sickness bug. I told him he has a family history of bowel cancer, but they just weren’t interested. He finally got taken in on the November 11.
“Finally we went to a medial centre and we said we’re not going anywhere until we know what’s wrong with him.
“We’re not being fobbed off again and again – we basically said to people at the hospital and said we’re not going anywhere until it’s sorted.
“Then a surgeon had a feel of his tummy and could feel something in his bowels, and that’s when they did the CT scan and found it was cancer.
“It was awful finding out – we’ve got two small children. He’s been in hospital since. In the four weeks since he had his tumour removed the cancer spread quite far.”
But despite being struck by such a desperate illness, Felix’s thoughts remained with his young family throughout – and how he would provide for them financially.
Cola said: “He’s quite a family man, he insists he brings the money in.
“So he went to work two or three times while he was ill, but couldn’t really do much, because he had major stomach cramps which would go and come back.
“For the last couple of days before he went to hospital he was just in bed all day and didn’t eat for two weeks.
“The only thing he was saying before his first op was that he wanted to make money for us as he was so worried about keeping up the house and taking care of us.”
Ashley Clark, 20, Felix’s best friend, has since started a GoFundMe website, to raise money for his children.
The site has now raised more than £26,000.
Cola said: “It’s lovely, I’ve had so many people message me saying they’re thinking of me and I don’t even know them.
“Felix is really comfortable at the moment. He’s got his head round everything and just wants to spend time with the kids, me and his family.
“He’s been really really positive, and is trying to think of the kids.
“He doesn’t want to get upset in front of the kids, he doesn’t want to let them know what’s going on.
“Especially Ralph, who is starting to understand that his dad’s in hospital.
“But he’s been really positive, and since finding out it’s terminally he’s been exceptionally brave.
“The kids and I will be in the hospital on Christmas Day.
“Pearl is too young to know what’s going on, but Ralph sort of understands. When we go to see his dad he says ‘poorly’.
“It will be his last Christmas with them, so we want to make it as special as possible.”