A young bride said her vows as she lay in a hospice bed before passing away from cancer just days later.
‘Fit and healthy’ maths teacher Samantha Webster went to hospital in June complaining of stomach pains and received the earth-shattering news that she had aggressive cancer of the appendix.
The 33-year-old was told the cancer was terminal and she had months to live.
Determined to get married before she died, Samantha and her partner Alec decided to hold a wedding service in the hospice where Samantha was being cared for in Shropshire, surrounded by staff members, friends and family.
She passed away less than one week later with her new husband by her side, and just ten weeks after being given her diagnosis.
Her new husband, who has not been able to speak about her death until now, has paid tribute to his ‘soulmate’ who ‘touched the lives of so many.’
He said Samantha never ‘smoked, drank alcohol or touched drugs’ and they had been planning to have a baby.
Alec and Samantha Webster got married at the Severn Hospice in Shropshire
The couple, who had been planning to have a baby, were determined to enjoy their big day
Samantha passed away just one week after her wedding, with her new husband at her side
Alec and Samantha pictured before she was diagnosed with cancer
After complaining of stomach pains, Samantha spent three weeks at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital before being transferred to Christy Hospital in Manchester for specialist care.
She then spent another three weeks there before being moved to the Severn Hospice for end of life care.
The pair tied the knot on the hospice ward joined by family, including both their parents, on September 1 before she passed away on September 7.
Alec, 38, spent every day at Samantha’s bedside and said he was determined to pull out all the stops in order to give his sweetheart ‘the wedding she deserved’ after she was told she had weeks to live.
And with the help of hospice staff the couple were able to say ‘I do’ in front of 20 close friends and family.
The businessman, from Newport, said: ‘The wedding was very emotional for us. It was the hardest day, but beautiful at the same time.
‘Sam was so special and during her life touched the lives of many in the community. ‘Over 300 people came to her funeral. She was amazing.
‘When she was diagnosed with cancer we just had to pull out all the stops. We had already decided we were gong to get married.
‘Sam was the only person who could smile no matter what was happening and she made others smile – we don’t have a photo where she is not smiling.
‘It was a wonderful day and I was glad we could make it happen as we had always wanted to get married.
‘We had always wanted a family together and we were looking to have a baby. I’m heartbroken but proud we could make this happen.’
Alec, who has not been able to speak about Samantha’s death until now, has paid tribute to his ‘soulmate’ who ‘touched the lives of so many’
Despite her heartbreaking diagnosis Samantha beamed on her big day, and continued to smile throughout her battle with cancer
Alec, friends, family and hospice staff ‘pulled out all the stops’ to make sure the couple could enjoy their special day
The couple exchanged vows in a hospice just ten weeks after Samantha had been diagnosed with cancer
Alec, who runs a transport company, has only now been able to speak about her death.
He said despite the cancer making her tired, Samantha smiled throughout the day while surrounded by hospice staff, friends and family.
He added: ‘The cancer took her over so quickly but she was determined to enjoy our big day.
‘I tried to mingle with the people but really just wanted to be with Sam.
‘We both had our lives before but it makes you feel that, if you want something, you should just do it.
‘We were together for four years and we met when we attended the local gym, we both hated it but we still went.
‘The thing was that Sam was always, she never smoked or did drugs and she never drank, we had water whenever we went out for a meal.
‘She was told that she had the cancer 10 weeks before she died on September 7 but the doctors said that she had probably had it growing inside her for six to eight months before that.
‘It was such a rare cancer that I can’t really fault the doctors, it was just one of those cruel things that happen in life.’
The couple exchanged vows on the ward in an emotional ceremony watched by friends and family
Samantha passed away just weeks after complaining of stomach pains and being told she had incurable cancer
Samantha and Alec had been together for four years, after meeting at the gym
Staff filled the ward with handmade decorations and photos of the couple
He also thanked hospice staff for making their big day special.
‘What they do at the hospice is phenomenal they went above and beyond, they did so much for Sam. They set aside an entire area of the hospice for us to use
‘We had all the decorations and everything we could possibly want – it made us feel that we had a proper wedding.’
Hospice staff even held a hen and stag do on the ward.