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Devoted couple marry at Queen's Hospital intensive care unit

PUBLISHED: 11:22 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:05 27 May 2016

Best man Robert Naughton, Donald Naughton, Lucy Rayner and Bishop Trevor Mwamba. Photo: Claire Still/BHRUT

Best man Robert Naughton, Donald Naughton, Lucy Rayner and Bishop Trevor Mwamba. Photo: Claire Still/BHRUT

Claire Still/BHRUT

Due to a serious illness, a couple together for 20 years, brought forward their wedding and held it in a hospital's intensive care unit on Wednesday.

Donald Naughton, 66, and Lucy Rayner, 42, of Dagenham were due to marry in August but a last-minute wedding was arranged after Donald’s condition worsened.

He has been at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, for almost three weeks with complications related to his diabetes.

Lucy said: “He asked me to marry him 20 years ago and I said no but I asked him to marry me when he became ill.

“I’m really pleased to be married but it doesn’t feel any different yet.”

The chaplaincy team at the hospital, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, worked tirelessly to secure a special license so the wedding could go ahead and was legal.

Lucy added: “The wedding was put together in a week. The bishop and the hospital have been really good. They made it so easy.”

Donald’s nephew, Robert Naughton, was best man, with friends and the couple’s 16-year-old son, Sean, in attendance.

The event was the first time Bishop Trevor Mwamba had performed a marriage in a hospital in his 30-year career.

He said: “It was a very special event for them and I made sure everything was the same for them as if it were in church.”

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