Couple felt ‘complete’ after wedding at St Catherine’s Hospice
A couple celebrated their wedding day at St Catherine’s Hospice – after fate brought them back together following their separation nearly 10 years ago.
Jane and Steve Cottom shared their special occasion with close family and friends at the Lostock Hall hospice, after deciding the time was right for them to re-tie the knot.
Devastatingly, Steve, who was living with stomach cancer which had spread to his shoulder and spine, died just over a week after the moving ceremony at the age of just 52.
Jane said her memories and photographs of the day would always be treasured, and thanked everyone at St Catherine’s for helping to organise the poignant celebration.
Jane, aged 51 and from Chorley, said: “It was such a special day which meant so much to us. It was something we really wanted to do and the team at St Catherine’s brought everything together to make it happen.
“We’d talked about getting married again over the last few years but never really did anything seriously about it. Everything changed with that diagnosis and then it all went so quickly. Within a few days of arriving at St Catherine’s we’d made the decision to do it and we can’t thank St Catherine’s enough for all the effort they put in to make it such a wonderful day.”
Jane and Steve said their vows with Jane’s daughter Vic Tootell as Steve’s best man – sporting a skirt with shirt and tie in honour of the occasion! Afterwards they celebrated with banners, balloons, a buffet, Prosecco and wedding cake.
“I was absolutely gob-smacked by what they had organised in such a short space of time – so much effort went into all the little touches. It meant the world to us and afterwards, when we were married, it felt like we were complete again,” Jane said.
Steve and Jane had initially been married 16 years ago and even lived for a short time together in Cyprus before returning to Lancashire. In 2007, various factors led to them going their separate ways but they always remained close and were regularly in touch.
“We were always there for each other when we needed it,” Jane said.
Five years ago they became a couple once more and were enjoying life together again until their world was turned upside down last month by the news of Steve’s diagnosis.
As a steel erector working in a physical job, the pain in Steve’s arm and shoulder was initially linked to a previous injury and operation carried out five years ago. But further investigations including an MRI scan eventually found an aggressive sarcoma tumour which had also spread.
When coming to stay at St Catherine’s was first mentioned, they both said they didn’t know what to expect.
“We were both scared,” Jane admitted. “But there really was no need to be. The wedding was just one of the ways St Catherine’s made such a difference to Steve’s life, and mine. They treated Steve like Steve, not just a patient, and the support they provided to us both was incredible. I don’t think I would have got through it without them.”
Tracy Parkinson, in-patient unit manager at St Catherine’s, thanked Jane for sharing her story of the hospice, and said she and the team had been honoured to host such a special occasion for them.
She added: “Hospice care is about being here for all of the many different things that are important to a person and their family at that particular time. This could be more obvious things like making sure someone has the right pain relief medication, but it also goes much further than treating physical symptoms.
“Getting married was something which was very important to Jane and Steve and we were delighted to have been able to help organise the occasion for them here at the hospice.”
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