Gary Smart, a father of six, made the request after being told he had just days to live following a lung cancer diagnosis.
“We thought we might have more time together but it wasn’t to be,” Laura Smart, his widow, told SWNS. “Last Friday, staff said it wouldn’t be long and they helped us organize our wedding. Mum and I went out, got the rings, came back and we were told the staff had sorted it all.”
The pair had gotten together in their 20s, but hadn’t married.
Smart said she and her husband, who was diagnosed with cancer in July, had planned to wed next month, but moved up the plans when they learned the cancer was taking over. Friends and family rushed to his bedside at Northampton General Hospital in England for the ceremony, while also preparing to say goodbye to the groom.
Smart said she is grateful for the seven hours they spent as husband and wife.
“We all knew he was going to go,” Laura told SWNS. “He managed to say his vows and put the ring on my finger and give me a kiss.”
“That night I laid in bed with him. We watched ‘Fast and Furious 8’ as he was into cars,” she continued. “I managed to fall asleep and woke up when the call button went off at 3 a.m. I looked at Gary and he was staring at me, like he was trying to reach out to me. I had a conversation with him and then realized, his oxygen mask was not on right and he wasn’t breathing.”
Laura Smart said that while they were only married for seven hours before his death, she is grateful for the little time they had as husband and wife.
“He was a wonderful man and I was proud to be his wife,” Laura told SWNS.