‘The best day of our lives’ – Terminally ill Hartlepool bride marries her prince charming

A TERMINALLY ill bride and her very own prince charming tied the knot in an emotional fairytale wedding of their dreams.

True lovebirds Tracey Barnard and Andrew Morgan were married at the picturesque St Hilda’s Church on Hartlepool’s Headland in front of a tearful congregation.

Tracey Barnard and Andrew Morgan are married at St Hilda's Church

Tracey Barnard and Andrew Morgan are married at St Hilda's Church

The extra-special service was a dream come true for the pair, who have been together for 12 years, as 52-year-old Tracey is battling cancer, which initially started in her cervix but then spread to her lungs.

But the gorgeous couple put their troubles to one side as priest, Verity Brown, led them through their vows before proudly pronouncing them man and wife – a deed they have only dared to imagine as they could never afford to do it.

And it was all made possible following a chance conversation at Hartlepool & District Hospice’s day centre, which led to the incredibly dedicated staff taking it upon themselves to organise a wedding they would never forget.

Speaking after the service, an overwhelmed Tracey, who wore an ivory dress with a lavendar-coloured throw and hat, said: “It was very emotional and very happy, all rolled into one.

Tracey Barnard and Andrew Morgan are married at St Hilda's Church

Tracey Barnard and Andrew Morgan are married at St Hilda's Church

“It’s been more than we could have ever dreamed of.

“It’s been the best day of our lives ever. Everybody has been so fantastic and there aren’t enough words in the vocabulary to describe how grateful we are.”

Andrew, 46, dressed smartly in a kilt, said: “I just can’t believe it’s happened.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for years and put it off for different reasons and now it’s actually happened.

The former coach driver who gave up his job to care for his new wife added: “It’s made me feel 21 again.”

Brave Tracey came down the aisle to the Hartlepool Male Voice Choir singing Lean on Me and managed to get out of her wheelchair part of the way down the aisle to meet her new husband, who was waiting patiently with his best man Barrie Henderson.

Tracey’s bridesmaids were friend Amy Stubbs, and hospice volunteers Emma Pounder and Olivia Jackson.

The pair remained seated during the vows and fought back tears as they each spoke.

Hymns, All things Bright and Beautiful and Lord of The Dance, were also sang at the service.

Priest Verity told the Mail: “It is an extra special occasion and it’s a privilege for me to be able to do this for them.”

The pair were going to get married at Hartlepool Civic Centre with £120 they managed to save.

But as well as the hospice’s input, the big day was made possible by town businesses playing their part including Tracey’s dress and tartan wear for Andy being supplied by Christabel & Keats, Hartlepool Rugby Club, in Easington Road, hosting the reception, and a buffet, cars, balloons, disco, and flowers all donated.