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Parents of dying boy grant his final wish of seeing them get married

The parents of a terminally ill five-year-old granted his dying wish, by getting married at his hospital bedside just days before he died.

Seeing his parents get married was Corey's dying wish Credit: PA

Corey Edwards, from Teignmouth in Devon, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect aged just seven months old. He had been through eight open-heart operations and a range of other treatments.

Corey had mentioned marriage to his parents - Craig, 28, and Jemma, 21 - a number of times, as their wedding plans had been put on hold due to his ill health. So when they were given the heartbreaking news that he only had a short time left, they decided to bite the bullet.

Within 48 hours, thanks to a heroic effort from family, friends and hospital staff, they managed to tie the knot.

Just five days later, on Wednesday evening, Corey passed away.

Craig and Jemma Edwards had been engaged for three years Credit: PA

Their nuptials made history as they became the first couple to wed at Bristol Children's Hospital, but they had to get special permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The law allows couples to get married in hospital if one of them is seriously ill, but the Archbishop is allowed to bend the rules for "pastoral reasons" if he sees fit.

Speaking before his son's death, council worker Mr Edwards said it had been a wonderful day after hearing that doctors did not expect Corey to be able to go home.

He asked quite a few times why we are not married, so we thought we would make it a special day and cheer him up a bit.

It turned into a really, really amazing day and Corey was so proud. He looked very handsome. I think he really enjoyed it, which was the main thing.

Getting married is usually the bride and groom's special day, which it was, but it's more Corey's special day because he is such a special boy.

It was nice to share our special day with the people who have helped us enjoy Corey's short life. It has got to the point where there isn't more they can do now, which is obviously very hard.

Instead of being at his bedside crying the whole time at least on that one day we had a real special day. We know he was happy that day.

– Craig Edwards, groom
Corey was ring-bearer for his parents' wedding Credit: PA

Corey was the ring-bearer for the occasion, which was presided over by hospital chaplain Rev Stephen Oram, while his younger sisters Isabelle, two, and six-month-old Caitlyn were also able to attend.

When we got the go-ahead, we only had a matter of days to plan. We rushed into town to buy a dress and suit and made do with our engagement rings as wedding rings.

We couldn't believe the generosity of all those involved. One nurse helped to do Jemma's hair, whilst another two members of staff made the cake and iced it.

Chairs were pulled together to form an aisle and decorations were put up to make it feel like a wedding venue.

It may not have been the day we had initially planned in our heads but it didn't matter to us.

The most important thing for us was having our son Corey at our side, holding the rings and wearing his suit.

We couldn't have been more proud of him.

– Craig Edwards, groom
The couple tied the knot in hospital after getting special dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury Credit: PA

The newlyweds spent their wedding night at their son's side.

Rev Oram said it had been an emotional occasion.

It was very emotional and it was emotional for many reasons. The family and the ward knew how special this was for them and it was fulfilling the wish of a dying child. It was also emotional because we knew the outcome for poor Corey isn't going to be a good outcome and everyone was just aware of the specialness of the day for Mr and Mrs Edwards and Corey.

– Rev Stephen Oram, hospital chaplain