A groom who married his fiancée just four days before she passed away revealed how he arranged the couple’s wedding in just four hours.
Adam Welch, 29, wed Kerry Vincent, 27, from Warrington, Cheshire, in her hospital bed this month before she died in his arms after losing her battle with ovarian cancer.
The couple, who had been engaged since April last year, had planned to marry in Malta and had flown out to decide on a venue, before Kerry’s stomach swelled and she was diagnosed with cancer in July.
Adam Welch, 29, married Kerry Vincent, 27, in her hospital bed this month before she died in his arms after losing her battle with ovarian cancer
Adam and Kerry from Warrington, Cheshire, pictured in Malta in July last year. The couple were hunting for a wedding venue before Kerry was diagnosed
Adam said: ‘At first, I didn’t want to get married in hospital but Kerry talked me into it and I am so glad she did. It would have been the biggest regret of my life if we hadn’t.
‘She was so beautiful and brave and I am proud to call her my wife.
‘After the wedding, she was at peace and perhaps she knew it was time to let go.’
The couple met four years ago through Kerry’s sister, Gemma, who works with Adam, and they moved in together in October 2013. Kerry was a keen runner and fit and active.
In April 2015, Adam staged a romantic proposal, going down on one knee in front of both sets of parents.
Adam said: ‘Kerry fancied getting married in the sunshine, and found a place in Malta that looked lovely.’
Kerry took a picture of herself in May last year, left, and six weeks later her cyst had grown so dramatically that hotel staff thought she was pregnant, right
Adam got down on one knee to propose to Kerry in their garden in front of both sets of parents
The couple toasted their engagement and quickly planned the wedding which they wanted to have this summer
Kerry, pictured before she was diagnosed, with Adam at Heaton Park, Manchester. The couple met through Kerry’s sister Gemma who works with Adam
Kerry, before her diagnosis getting ready for a night out in a printed bodycon dress in April, left, and proudly flashing her engagement ring, right
They arranged to fly out in July last year to make the booking. But before their trip, Kerry began to feel bloated and unwell.
Her GP at first suspected irritable bowel syndrome or a food intolerance and she was sent for tests.
An ultrasound just before their trip showed a cyst on the right side of her ovary – and Kerry was advised it could be removed routinely.
They went on holiday, with an appointment to see her consultant when they returned.
However whilst they were in Malta, her stomach continued to grow rapidly.
Adam said: ‘Everyone thought she was heavily pregnant. The staff wouldn’t even serve her alcohol.’
Kerry and Adam, pictured in Malta. Kerry had been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst before she left which doctors planned to remove on her return
Kerry’s stomach had begun to swell rapidly from the cyst but doctors did not think it was cancerous
When Kerry returned to the UK after the holiday she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had the tumour removed – which measured 18cm by 22cm and weighed 4.5lb
The couple booked their wedding for June 2016 and returned home.
However when doctors removed the cyst, which measured 18cm by 22cm and weighed 4.5lb, they realised it was more sinister. Kerry was then diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Adam said: ‘We were shell-shocked. We actually asked the doctors if there had been a mix-up. Nobody had mentioned cancer once. We had always believed it was a harmless cyst.’
Kerry began chemotherapy and although her dark brown hair fell out, she seemed to be beating the disease.
However the cancer returned and the couple decided to move their wedding to a hotel in the UK close to home.
Kerry had a large scar, left, after the surgery and had chemotherapy immediately. She lost her hair but it began to grow back, right
However the cancer came back and doctors said there was nothing more they could do. Adam organised the wedding in just four hours, with the help of family and friends, and the nurses decorated the ward
Then late in February, Kerry’s health deteriorated suddenly and doctors said there was nothing more they could do.
However the heartbroken couple still longed to become man and wife with the short time they had left together.
Adam said: ‘Kerry suggested getting married in hospital but I was against the idea at first. I wanted to wait.
‘When I first proposed, we had all these ideas of getting married in a hotel abroad, with all the trimmings.
‘But we realised that it actually didn’t matter where or when we got married – as long as we did it.’
Adam organised the wedding in just four hours, with the help of family and friends.
HOW TO SPOT OVARIAN CANCER
It is the fifth most common cancer amongst women and 7000 are diagnosed with the disease each year in the UK. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential.
Symptoms include persistent bloating, difficulty eating and feeling full quickly, and frequent abdominal or pelvic pain.
He recalled: ‘The nurses decorated the ward, everyone chipped in to help. Kerry was in bed as we said our vows.’
The couple were married on March 2. Four days later, Kerry passed away in Adam’s arms.
Adam said: ‘It was as if she had held on for the wedding. I am heartbroken, but I am bursting with pride to be able to call Kerry my wife. She was an amazing woman.’
Adam is now campaigning for earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer. He will also complete a sky dive next month in Kerry’s honour to raise funds for Target Ovarian Cancer.
So far, Adam has raised more than £4,000 and hopes to reach £5,000 through his Just Giving page.
He said: ‘The sky dive was booked last year and of course we had planned for Kerry to be there with me. But I know she will be with me in spirit, looking after me.
‘Kerry was a very caring and thoughtful person, and she would be proud that our fundraising will hopefully help to prevent other women dying needlessly as she did.’