A wedding in the middle of a pandemic may seem an impossible dream but for one couple that dream came true this afternoon – thanks to staff at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Terminally ill Melvin Melia was able to tie the knot with his partner of 33 years Lisa Robinson in a beautifully decorated side room on Ward 17.
Melvin, aged 66, was diagnosed with the lung disease Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2016 and has also had bowel cancer. He was brought into hospital six weeks ago after becoming unwell and breathless and tested positive for COVID-19.
Lisa, 53, explained: “This is a virus that’s really scary for all of us because we’ve not seen anything like it before and we knew it would affect Melvin badly on top of his terminal illness.
“I haven’t been able to see him for so many weeks but he did say he wanted us to get married when he came out of hospital. With his health now he is having palliative care so we know we haven’t got much time left together. The staff on Ward 17 and the Fundraising Manager at the hospital have organised everything for us to have a wedding in Melvin’s side room and we’re really thankful.”
Lisa, who used to work in Sainsbury’s at Reedswood, arrived at the hospital today in a beautiful classic car and teamed her elegant wedding dress with pink converse trainers!
“I wanted a pink theme so the flowers are pink and my wedding cake is a shade of pink too, it’s beautiful,” she said.
Hospital Chaplain Anthony Swaby married the pair after getting permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Westminster offices.
Melvin, who used to work all over the country supplying hygienic wall coverings to premises such as hospitals and laboratories, and Lisa met in the City Slickers nightclub in Walsall town centre and got together a few weeks later.
“I love his dry sense of humour and he’s very kind and thoughtful,” she said while Melvin describes Lisa as “a lovely girl.” And he thought his bride looked a picture in her dress and veil.
“Today is special to us because we’ve always wanted to get married but never got round to it,” said Lisa. “It’s more important than ever with everything that’s happened and it feels right that we are doing it now. Thank you to everyone who has helped us.”
Fundraising Manager Georgie Westley supported Ward 17 staff to organise their special day.
She said: “Congratulations to Melvin and Lisa as they return home as a married couple. It has been our pleasure to help them and we send them home with our love and best wishes.”
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust would like to thank:
- Flowers & Balloons for supplying the flowers
- Lesley Jones for creating a balloon display
- Henry Constable Cars of Willenhall
- Elior for providing a buffet