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“Without the Care at Home team, we couldn’t have gotten married. And I’m so glad we did, because I’m so proud to be Mark’s wife."

Recently, Mountbatten carers helped Kay, from Bitterne, marry her partner of 25 years in the weeks before he died.

The team were visiting Mark, who was diagnosed with Leukemia, at home three times a day to provide personal care and to support them both, when they discovered the couple had never found time for a wedding.

Kay said “I would have loved to get married, but we were always too busy. You think that you have all the time in the world, but now we didn’t.”

A wedding license usually requires 29 days notice, but the team leader, Ness, called the local register office to explain that Mark was dying and 29 days was too long. Mountbatten carers Tina and Haley also visited local churches themselves, searching for a vicar to perform the ceremony.

They were able to get a special license, with sanction from Mark’s Doctor at Bitterne Surgery, that allowed them to get married. Their wedding was held on 30 December 2022.

Kay said “Everyone who moved heaven and earth to make this wedding possible. The GP surgery, the register office, and of course Tina, Haley, and the Care at Home team.”

“It all started one morning, when they came round and Mark was still asleep. We were talking and laughing, as we always did, then they spotted this big plastic ring on the windowsill in our kitchen.

“It was something Mark found when we used to go for walks down on Portsmouth seafront. Mark was such a magpie, he would pick up rocks, shiny things, sea glass, any little treasure he found on the beach. They asked how long we’d been married, and of course I told them we weren’t.

When the carers Tina and Hayley went in to get Mark washed and dressed, they asked if he’d like to marry Kay. He replied, “Bloody right I would!”

Kay said “I thought he was joking at first, but he said yes, I want to marry you. I just thought there was no way it could happen now.

“But I’m so glad that we did, because I’m so proud to be his wife.”

Less than two weeks after the wedding, Mark died at home, age 55.

Since Mark’s death, the same team have kept in touch with Kay.

“I’m a mess without Mark, but the support from Mountbatten has meant a lot.

“When they visited just after the wedding, they brought me a little stone shaped like a heart, one that you hold to relieve stress. Those personal touches mean so much - they became friends to me.”

Our Care at Home team provide personalised support to people with life-limiting illness and their families, throughout Southampton and large parts of Hampshire. They help people to do what’s important to them at the end of life, whether that’s marriage, celebrations, having pets and family close, or simply being at home.

Join our lottery to create more special moments like this.

Our teams need your support to deliver 24/7 care to people across Southampton and large parts of Hampshire.

Your entry will help people like Mark, facing life-limiting illnesses, and their families to make memories when it matters most.

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