Harlow: Newlyweds Share Big Day On Ward

A man proposed, planned a wedding and got married in Essex in the space of 24 hours after being told the love of his life was dying of cancer.

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow

Mike Rowland proposed to his new wife, Lynda, at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow after they were given the prognosis.

The couple, both Pcs in the Metropolitan Police, married on a hospital ward the following day.

Mr Rowland, 51, said: "It wasn't how I imagined our big day but it was important to show Lynda how much I loved her and to share something special together."

Mrs Rowland, 49, formerly Francis, said: "I feel so happy. This is not something I ever expected and it means so much.

"When Mike told me how quickly it was going to happen, I just said, 'Crikey'."

She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and thought she had recovered after undergoing chemotherapy.

In March this year she began suffering a cough which was initially treated as a virus.

It later emerged the cancer had spread to her lungs and that her condition was inoperable.

"The doctors have not told us how long she has to live," Mr Rowland said.

"But it is now a matter of preserving her life and making sure she makes the most of the time she has left."

The ceremony, attended by hospital staff and 12 close friends and family, took place in an empty ward which had been granted an emergency wedding licence.

Staff decorated the ward with balloons and banners and the bride wore a blouse and skirt which matched her bouquet.

Afterwards she returned to her hospital room while family and friends gathered at the couple's Harlow home for a reception.

Mr Rowland said: "She has to stay in hospital for another week or so but then hopefully she will come home.

"Her condition means we won't get a honeymoon but it will just be special to spend some time alone together."

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