Couple fulfil their son's dying wish by getting married

Jemma and Craig Edwards made history by marrying at their dying son's hospital bedside Credit: Bristol City Council

The parents of a five-year-old boy have fulfilled his dying wish by getting married at his bedside at Bristol Children's Hospital.

Corey Edwards passed away last night, but not before seeing his mum and dad make history.

Corey had always wanted his parents, Jemma and Craig, to get married and last week they made history by becoming the first couple to tie the knot in Bristol Children’s Hospital - at their son’s bedside.

Corey Edwards was being treated on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children after being admitted in January.

Five-year-old Corey Edwards died last night after a long battle with his heart condition Credit: Bristol City Council

Diagnosed with a complex congenital heart defect at the age of seven months old, Corey underwent eight open-heart surgeries and other treatment.

The couple from Teignmouth in Devon were engaged for three years but their plans to marry were put on hold due to the birth of their two younger daughters Isabelle (2) and Caitlyn (24 weeks) and Corey’s ill health.

When they learnt of their son’s wish, they felt they had to act. With the help of staff, and friends made at the hospital, plans were put in place to help the couple marry at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Jemma and Craig Edwards sign the register at Bristol Children's Hospital Credit: University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust

When we knew Corey’s wishes, everyone on PICU and Ward 32, including staff and friends, got together to help us.

The Bishop of Bristol had to write to the Archbishop of Canterbury to get special permission for us to marry in the hospital and we are so grateful he agreed. 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.

We were married on Saturday 4 April by the hospital’s chaplain, Graham Reaper-Brown, who was very excited to be sharing this occasion with us. However, 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. We were also incredibly lucky to have our daughters there and the support of so many.

– Jemma and Craig Edwards
The marriage ceremony took place in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Credit: University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust

The newlyweds spent their wedding night at their son’s bedside and later returned to the Ronald McDonald House where they have been staying whilst Corey was in hospital.

Despite Corey's death, Craig and Jemma want everyone to know their story and how very special their little boy was.