There was laughter and tears as Penny Goddard, 65, from Astley near Stourport, laid in her hospice bed and watched her daughter Abi and partner Kev McPherson tie the knot in front of their family.
The occasion was even more special as Abi’s father, Harold Goddard, from Malvern, conducted the wedding blessing. The couple’s daughter Jessica, 18 months and neice, Amelie, were flower girls and Abi’s sister Mrs Naomi Joy was maid of honour. Abi’s brother Peter Goddard also shared their celebrations.
Abi Goddard, from Cheltenham said, “We are due to get married in Spain next year but we really wanted mum to be part of the wedding. We are very grateful to everyone at St Richard’s Hospice who made this happen for us at very short notice. It was very special to us for mum to see us married.”
She added, “St Richard’s felt loving and caring from the moment we walked in the door for our first visit. The people who work at St Richard’s are fantastic and Mum is so happy to be here.”
Mrs Goddard was first diagnosed with cancer in 2012 which was followed by two successful rounds of chemotherapy. She has spent the last month in hospital in Birmingham before being referred to St Richard’s Hospice In-patient Unit.
Mrs Goddard said after the ceremony, “Being there at the wedding blessing was very special and it’s hard to put into words the value of that as you come to the end of your life. Being able to celebrate Abi’s wedding when I won’t be there in Spain was very important to us all. As well as celebrating the future it was a wonderful day to capture memories for the family of us all together.”
St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and supports their families. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire.
Patients are cared for in Day Hospice, the 17-bed In-patient Unit or in their own homes by a specialist professional team as well as many trained volunteers.
In the In-patient Unit, specialist staff are on hand 24 hours a day to manage patients’ symptoms and where, if appropriate, patients may spend the last few days of life in comfort and dignity. St Richard’s is an independent charity and is grateful for all donations to help it to continue its work.