A CANCER sufferer was granted his wish as he tied the knot with the love of his life from his hospital bed.
Alan Hewitt, 69, and Crystal Smelt, 74, planned to walk down the aisle more than two years ago.
However, Crystal suffered a massive heart attack and spent more than six weeks in hospital and months at home recovering.
Then Alan, a retired welder, was diagnosed with stomach cancer just three months ago and told that his illness was terminal.
But this time the couple vowed not to let illness get in their way – and yesterday they tied the knot in Ward 9 at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Emotional family and friends gathered for the special occasion.
Alan, who has spent his whole life in Hartlepool, told the Mail: “This makes me happy, it’s what I wanted.”
The service was carried out by Hartlepool’s deputy superintendent registrar Margaret Cosgrave.
The couple held hands throughout before exchanging rings.
Crystal, a mum of two and retired nurse, added: “Alan is such a kind, kind man.
“We have been planning this for the last couple of years and even though he has been ill the last three months, it was his wish to still get married.
“It’s lovely to have our friends and family here. ”
The couple met around eight years ago.
They were next door neighbours in Hartlepool’s Burbank Court and Alan visited Crystal to see if she wanted any shopping doing when she took ill.
They became a couple shortly afterwards and have enjoyed a number of trips away together.
Alan was as “fit as a fiddle” before he suddenly became ill earlier this year.
He is a huge football fan and followed the local Sunday league scene and especially the fortunes of “his team” Princess Helena.
His older brother and best man Jimmy, 72, said: “This has made Alan very happy.
“To have everyone together is fantastic.”
Crystal, who still lives in Hartlepool’s Burbank area, added: “I would like to thank everyone who has made this such a special occasion.”