News ID: 279778
Published: 0821 GMT January 23, 2021

British couple in 'only chance' wedding in Milton Keynes Hospital

British couple in 'only chance' wedding in Milton Keynes Hospital
From left to right, rapid response nurse Hannah Cannon with Elizabeth Kerr and Simon O'Brien

An engaged couple taken to hospital in the same ambulance with COVID-19 were able to marry moments before the man was sedated and put on a ventilator.

Elizabeth Kerr, 31, and Simon O'Brien, 36, were taken to Milton Keynes University Hospital with breathing difficulties, according to BBC.

Staff rallied to arrange a wedding as the groom's condition worsened.

They held off intubating O'Brien so the ceremony could go ahead. The couple are now recovering in hospital.

Kerr, a nurse, and O'Brien had planned to marry in June.

Both contracted the disease and were taken to hospital together when their oxygen levels fell dangerously low.

They were placed on separate wards but when Kerr told the nurse Hannah Cannon about their wedding plans, she asked her if they would like to marry in the hospital.

Kerr said she was told it could be their only chance.

"Those are words I never, ever want to hear again," she said.

However, while staff were securing the wedding license, O'Brien's condition further deteriorated and he was placed on the intensive care unit, to be put on a ventilator.

They waited to intubate him just long enough for the ceremony to go ahead.

Cannon said: "With lots of teamwork... we were able to give them a wedding, not necessarily the wedding that they would have initially intended, but certainly something positive, remarkable and memorable for them to really hold on to."

She filmed the marriage for the couple's families and friends, and catering staff at the hospital provided a cake.

Shortly after saying "I do", O'Brien was placed on the ventilator.

The couple have now been reunited on a recovery ward.

Kerr said having the wedding meant "everything" to them.

"If we hadn't had each other and we hadn't been given that opportunity to get married, I don't think both of us would be here now," she added.

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