Terminally-ill man marries partner of 20 years in hospital ceremony

Dave and Muriel tie the knot.
Dave and Muriel tie the knot.
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A patient who was told his cancer is terminal decided there was no time to lose - marrying his partner by his bedside in hospital.

Dave Clarkson popped the question to his partner of more than 20 years Muriel, after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer which doctors told him was terminal and inoperable.

For years we have been talking about getting married but there always seems to have been a reason to put it off. It was only after being given the diagnosis I was that I thought we had no time to lose.

Dave Clarkson

Dave and Muriel, who are 63 and 55 and from Easington, tied the knot in the urology ward at the University Hospital of North Tees.

Dave said: “For years we have been talking about getting married, but there always seems to have been a reason to put it off.

“It was only after being given the diagnosis that I thought we had no time to lose.

“The wedding was a brilliant day – a small number of our family were there but we didn’t even have time to tell many of our friends it was happening.

“Staff in the ward were fantastic and really supportive.”

The Friday the week before Dave had lost a large amount of blood when he went to the bathroom and eventually passed out and was rushed to A&E.

Previous to this, at the start of May he was referred for tests and doctors discovered it was cancer in his bowel and had spread to his liver.

He has decided to go ahead with treatments of chemotherapy, despite being told the cancer is terminal and inoperable.

Muriel said: “Dave has lived a healthy life. It was a complete shock to us both.

“He had been to the GP before with some symptoms, but it was not picked up on.

“We have never wanted to know from doctors how long he has – we don’t want that clock hanging over us all the time.

“We just need to remain as positive as we can. There’s absolutely no point in thinking any other way, we have to look forward.

“The marriage is everything we wanted it to be – it was a very quiet thing with just close family. Staff have helped us celebrate too and have been fantastic.”

The couple want to celebrate the day at a later date with all of their family and friends.

Dave has six children, four boys and two girls. Muriel has three children, and they both have guardianship of two young children, Darcy, 11, and Kydon, seven.