‘It was perfect. It couldn’t have gone any better’: Brave words of wife, 22, who married her terminally-ill husband, 23, in hospital bed ceremony after he is diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer
- Cola Glenny married Felix yesterday in Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent
- He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer on 11 November
- They were told on Friday the cancer is terminal, and Felix has weeks to live
- Cola claims staff at a medical centre previously told them it was not serious
- The pair decided to get married as soon as possible
- They have two children – two-year-old Ralph, and Pearl, four months
- When Felix found out about his illness, he was most concerned about providing for his family – and his friends have set him up a charity page
This is the bittersweet moment a loving girlfriend married her terminally-ill husband on his hospital bed.
Cola Glenny, 22, said ‘I do’ to Felix Glenny, 23, as he lay in Medway Maritime Hospital Kent, suffering from incurable bowel cancer.
Felix was able to make it out of his bed to celebrate the ‘perfect’ day afterwards with his new wife, while their two children Ralph, two, and Pearl, four months, looked on.
He was admitted to hospital in November after suffering for several weeks with what he thought at first were stomach cramps.
But after being admitted to hospital on 11 November, doctors found a large tumour in his bowels.
Although they were able to remove it, further tests showed that the cancer had spread and Felix had only weeks to live.
After finding out last week that the cancer is terminal, Felix and Cola decided to marry as soon as possible, and invited their friends and family to a ceremony conducted by the hospital chaplain yesterday.
Speaking to MailOnline tonight, Cola said: ‘After a second operation last Friday they discovered that the cancer had spread everywhere. That’s it now, there’s no stopping it.
‘When they told us I had to leave the room – it was too much to take it.
‘After it all settled down and we got our heads round it as much as we could, Felix just said he wanted to get married as soon as we could. We arranged it for yesterday.
‘It was crazy because we were really happy, but it was so emotional.
‘It was a lovely day and we’ve been thinking about it today, saying “It was perfect and it couldn’t have gone any better”.
‘We had talked about getting married even before he was ill – and when we found out the cancer was terminal we wanted to do it straight away.
‘Felix managed to get out of bed and we went over the the social club and had a ceremony – the Chaplain from the hospital came over and gave us a blessing.’
‘It was a really nice day and everyone really helped us out. All of our family was there and a lot of our friends.’
Felix, who is also known as Ryan, met through mutual friends in Lower Stoke, Kent, in August 2010. They quickly fell for one another and within a year the couple had moved in together and Cola was pregnant with her first child, Ralph.
Cola, a hairdresser, and Felix, who works for a water supply company, lived happily together for two years and had a second child, Pearl, who is now four months old.
But only weeks after his second child was born, Felix was struck with awful stomach pains and couldn’t make it to work. But when the couple visited the hospital and called doctors, they were repeatedly told that Felix was not seriously ill.
Their concerns were ignored despite the fact that three of Felix’s family members have recently died of bowel cancer – his mother and grandfather last year, and his aunt in 2007.
Cola said: ‘He was ill two weeks prior to being taken in to hospital, we kept going up there and they kept turning us away, saying it was a bug.
‘We had three ambulances out. We rang 111 and we told him all his symptoms, and they sent ambulances. Twice they took us to hospital.
‘Once they said it was a kidney infection, another time they said it was irritable bowels and one of the other times they didn’t even take us to the hospital because they said there was nothing wrong with him.
‘In A&E they said it was a sickness bug. I told him he has a family history of bowel cancer, but they just weren’t interested. He finally got taken in on the 11 November.
Up and about: Felix was able to leave his hospital bed to cut a wedding cake and kiss his bride in front of friends and family
‘Finally we went to a medial centre and we said we’re not going anywhere until we know what’s wrong with him.
‘We’re not being fobbed off again and again – we basically said to people at the hospital and said we’re not going anywhere until it’s sorted.
‘Then a surgeon had a feel of his tummy and could feel something in his bowels, and that’s when they did the CT scan and found it was cancer.
‘It was awful finding out – we’ve got two small children. He’s been in hospital since. In the four weeks since he had his tumour removed the cancer spread quite far.’
But despite being struck by such a desperate illness, Felix’s thoughts remained with his young family throughout – and how he would provide for them.
Cola said: ‘He’s quite a family man, he insists he brings the money in. So he went to work two or three times while he was ill, but couldn’t really do much, because he had major stomach cramps which would go and come back
‘For the last couple of days before he went to hospital he was just in bed all day and didn’t eat for two weeks.
‘Felix’s best friend Ashley – when he went into hospital he was really concerned about money, as he has a family and a house to keep up.
‘That was the only thing he was talking about before his first op, saying he wanted to make money for us.
‘Then Ashley started to GoFundMe website, with a little bit about what’s going on. It’s now raised more than £7,000.
‘It’s lovely – I’ve had so many people message me saying they’re thinking of me and I don’t even know them.
‘Felix is really comfortable at the moment. He’s got his head round everything and just wants to spend time with the kids, me and his family.
‘He’s been really really positive, and is trying to think of the kids.
‘He doesn’t want to get upset in front of the kids, he doesn’t want to let them know what’s going on.
‘Especially Ralph, who is starting to understand that his dad’s in hospital.
‘But he’s been really positive, and since finding out it’s terminally he’s been exceptionally brave.
‘The kids and I will be in the hospital on Christmas Day.
‘Pearl is too young to know what’s going on, but Ralph sort of understands. When we go to see his dad he says “poorly”.
‘It will be his last Christmas with them, so we want to make it as special as possible.’