It may not have been the fairytale she dreamt about, but the wedding of a young woman marrying her soulmate in hospital did not leave a dry eye in the room.
Twenty-five-year-old Ashley Cilliers and her fiancé Louis Aucamp, 27, from Knysna tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at the Melomed Hospital in Tokai on Tuesday.
It was a bittersweet moment as the couple, who had been together for three years, made their vows on the second floor, metres away from Cilliers’ ailing father Chris’ hospital bed.
Louis popped the big question six months into the relationship, but the love birds encountered a few obstacles on the way, most recently the Covid-19 pandemic which interrupted their wedding plans last year.
Then, on 27 March Ashley’s dad was diagnosed with progressive leukemia, a blood cancer caused by a rise in the number of white blood cells that crowd out the red blood cells and platelets that the body need to be healthy.
The couple then decided they would get married in hospital, so that Chris could be present.
Hospital staff went all-out to make it happen, and a meeting room was turned into a wedding venue to accommodate the nine wedding guests, Melomed group marketing manager Shameema Adams told the African News Agency (ANA).
“We really wanted to do something for the family and got them a wedding cake as well as snacks to make it more intimate than having a cold wedding,” she said.
The mothers of the couple were uitgevat in red gowns and the bride wore a traditional white wedding dress, with a face mask instead of a veil.
She burst into tears as her dad was wheeled in ahead of her as she walked towards her groom.
After saying their I do’s, a weeping Chris was taken back to his room.
“I am so happy. We made the decision to get married sooner after my father’s diagnosis a week ago,” said Ashley.
“I know the side effects of leukemia and told my mother and my now husband that I want to get married before he (father) loses his hair or changes. I want him to still be himself.”
African News Agency (ANA)