‘The hardest day, but beautiful too’: Severn Hospice team help couple to celebrate wedding
It was a beautiful moment between a husband and his new wife.
Alec and Samantha Webster got married at Severn Hospice, with staff pulling out all the stops to make sure the couple got their big day surrounded by their friends and family.
Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding.
The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson.
It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene.
Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.
Alec, a businessman, says: "The wedding was very emotional for us. It was the hardest day, but beautiful at the same time.
"Sam was so special and during her life touched the lives of many in the community. She was amazing.
"It wasn't until after she passed away that I realised just how well known she was in the area. The support we've had has been tremendous.
"She passed away 10 weeks from the day we initially went to the hospital. The GP had referred her for some scans, but because she was feeling uncomfortable we couldn't wait for the appointment.
"Then Royal Shrewsbury Hospital referred her to Christie's Hospital in Manchester where she was operated on as soon as she arrived. It was then that we realised she had a very aggressive cancer.
"Sam told the nurses that she wanted to be closer to home and she was referred to Severn Hospice who were 100 per cent honest with us and explained that she didn't have long to live.
"We had already decided we were gong to get married and our friend Stephanie and the hospice staff sorted everything out for us. I'm so grateful to them and to my staff for keeping things going.
"Unfortunately, this is the second time I've lost a loved one to cancer," the 38-year-old adds.
Samantha died on September 7. It was a second tragedy to hit Alec. He also shared that his late daughter Nioni, 18, from a previous relationship, passed away in 2016 after battling leukaemia for two years.
Last month more than 200 well wishers flocked to a coffee, cake and doughnut day at gym The Body Barn, in Church Aston, to raise funds for the hospice and remember Samantha, 33, who taught at Hadley Learning Community, in Telford.
Body Barn owner Danny Robb says: "Sam was one of my personal trainer clients and we became really good friends. She was very well known in the community.
"She was cared for at the hospice where she spent the last three weeks of her life. We wanted to do something to thank the hospice staff for the lovely way they looked after her and we came up with a coffee and cakes, although we're a gym.
"However, it went very well and we have so far raised £1,200 with more cash due to come in which is amazing. We've had lots of support from businesses and residents."
More than 400 people attended her farewell service at Telford Crematorium on September 27.