Terminally ill woman gets married to her sweetheart at Queen’s Hospital

A terminally ill woman had her dream come true when she got married to her childhood sweetheart at Queen’s Hospital.

Leonie Eberlene, who has multiple sclerosis tied the knot with her partner John Doyle at St Luke’s Chapel at the hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford.

Leonie is a patient in Bluebell A ward, and due to her deteriorating condition, the Archbishop of Westminster granted the couple’s wish to be married at Queen’s.

The Rev Martin Howse from St. Augustine’s Church at Rush Green conducted the ceremony.

Around 30 members of the couple’s family were guests at the wedding – including Leonie’s daughter who flew in from New Zealand for the occasion - along with friends and ward staff.


You may also want to watch:


Leonie and John, from Dagenham, have known each other since they were children, but lost touch until they were reunited by friends in 1998. They have been together ever since.

Hospital staff did all they could to give Leonie and John the best wedding possible, including dressing Leonie and preparing her for the ceremony.

Most Read

Although Leonie has a breathing tube, her dearest wish was to be able to say her vows to John.

Julie Phillips, the Outreach Sister, worked with Leonie for a week - even coming in on her days off - to help her practice with a speaking tube, which could only be in place for couple of minutes during the ceremony.

Leonie got her wish and was able to say “I do” and tell her new husband that she loved him.

The Trust organised a small reception for the family so they could celebrate the wedding.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter