A LOVING couple had to put their wedding plans on hold when their unborn son developed kidney problems.
Life seemed perfect for Amy Lees, 27, and Shaun McEvoy, 29, two years ago when the couple from the Central Estate area of Hartlepool were ready to tie the knot.
But then came the devastating news. Scans showed that their unborn son was suffering from an abnormal double tube linked to one of his kidneys.
Amy, a mental health nurse, said: “Our little boy had to come first. The wedding was put on the back burner.”
Wedding plans were abandoned and Amy admitted: “It was worrying. I had scans at 34 weeks and they showed he had two sets of tubes on one kidney. It meant he was refluxing urine on his kidney and he was at constant risk of infection.”
Eventually, Amy was induced at 38 weeks when doctors became concerned at the risk of trauma and Ben was born weighing 6lbs 15ozs at the University Hospital of North Tees on April 6, 2010.
Since then he has needed five sets of hospital tests and an operation at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle to remove the extra tube, as well as the bottom half of one kidney.
He still needs more follow-up appointments, but Amy added; “He is doing really well.”
Now the couple can turn their attentions to wedding bells once more – and that’s just as well.
Amy said: “Our little girl Lucy always asks why mammy doesn’t have the same last name as her, her daddy and brother.”
“She draws pictures of people getting married and she has drawn herself as a bridesmaid.
“We even had to buy her a proper little wedding dress for her birthday. She is desperate for her mammy and daddy to be married so we can be ‘princesses for the day’ and so we can all have the same surname.”
Amy and Shaun, who works as a plumber, met nine years ago and “have been together ever since.”
The couple are the latest entrants in this year’s Bride of the Year competition, run by the Hartlepool Mail and Robert Usher Photography, in which entries have now closed.
Amy added: “After the last couple of years being so hard with Ben being poorly, winning this would just be the happy ending we are hoping for.
“Ben being poorly has make us stronger than ever but being married would complete that.”
Our eventual winner will marry at one of Hartlepool’s most spectacular settings – in the Captain’s Cabin on board HMS Trincomalee.
Then it’s on to a wedding breakfast at the Sir William Gray Suite and later a night-time reception to round off a perfect day on Friday, September 7.
A public vote to start narrowing down the contestants is likely to be held in early April.
We will choose the top entries from that public vote to go forward to the next stage which is the grand final, to be held late in April.
On the evening of the grand final, a panel of judges will interview our shortlisted finalists and decide our winner.
The Mail will then follow our victorious couple as they prepare for the wedding of their dreams.