Covid-19 survivor goes from final ‘goodbye’ to ‘I do’ thanks to hospice

Categories: Care, Community Engagement, and Featured.

When cancer patient Jay Dixon was left fighting for his life after contracting Coronavirus he never thought he’d see his wedding day. Three weeks later close friends and family of the loving couple came together as the pair tied the knot at a special wedding ceremony organised by staff at St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth, Newcastle.



Jay and now wife Vicci Morrison-Dixon, planned their big day in just 48 hours with the support of the hospice and generous local businesses.

Jay, who had been a patient on the Inpatient Ward for over two weeks, has had cancer for a year and recently contracted Coronavirus. The virus made Jay so unwell Vicci was twice asked to say her goodbyes, but he miraculously pulled through and his dying wish was made possible thanks to the local charity.

Vicci said: “The last three weeks have been a total roller-coaster of emotions. Coronavirus made Jay extremely poorly, causing double pneumonia and kidney failure and we honestly thought we were going to lose him. While Jay was in hospital he said that he wanted to get married before he died, but due to his delirium and Coronavirus it just wasn’t possible. I honestly thought Jay wouldn’t survive the virus but three weeks to the day from the first time I said goodbye I got to say ‘I do’.

Jay said: “Looking back I can’t quite believe what has happened over the last few weeks. I’ve gone from thinking I was going to die to celebrating one of the best days of my life. We were told that getting married wasn’t going to be possible but thanks to our solicitor the registrar agreed to carry out the wedding. It was the first wedding that they had done since February so we’re extremely thankful.

Before getting discharged from hospital and coming to St Oswald’s I wasn’t really aware of what a hospice did, so being an inpatient has really opened my eyes. All of the staff are so friendly and helpful and I’ll be forever grateful to them for what they have done for us. The hospice itself is so relaxed and peaceful.”

Vicci was thrilled when she received the call from the registrar to say the wedding could go ahead on Thursday 28th May, but knew it would be a challenge to organise in such a tight time frame. The couple reached out to the Social Work team at the hospice who were only too happy to help.

“As soon as I told the team at the hospice that the registrar was able to marry us they were all so excited and wanted to help in any way they could” Vicci explained. “They basically arranged everything for us including a two tier cake, flowers and a photographer within 48 hours! Staff and volunteers were even planting until the last minute to make the garden look nice for us, we were totally overwhelmed.”

Jay added: “Due to the pandemic the ceremony was very small and intimate. We had ten guests all together including our two children, Bailie (age 13) and Nate (age 5), our parents, my brother, who was also my Best Man, my sister-in-law and Vicci’s best friend who was her Maid of Honour. We could see other patients peeking out of their bedroom windows which was lovely.”

Amanda Wait, Social Worker at St Oswald’s, helped to organise the wedding. She said: “I arrived in work last Tuesday morning to find out the exciting news that we had a wedding booked for that Thursday.  In that time, a full team effort from the hospice ensured that we were able to make Jay and Vicci’s day as special as we could under the current circumstances. A wedding day has to be one to remember and with creative thinking and help from others we were able to organise something special for them both.

“Not only did this have a lovely outcome for Jay and Vicci but gave the staff such a welcome boost when arranging this and being able to witness their precious moment.

“Our role as a hospice is vitally important at times like this when life seems more difficult and demonstrates what can be achieved when people come together for others.”

Jay said: “Amanda from the Social Work team at the hospice did so much for us, she’s a real Wonder Woman. The support she gave us was beyond belief and I honestly think the day turned out better than if we’d had time to arrange it ourselves. The weather was perfect and the staff even arranged for Vicci to stay overnight in my room with me. They decorated it with petals, flowers and fairy lights which was so lovely and a total surprise. Vicci made her dress herself as she didn’t have time to order one but it was just perfect.

“I’m still on cloud nine and feel like my recovery from Covid-19 and being able to get married is a total miracle. I’m now working with the teams at the hospice to hopefully get home soon. I know I still have a long road ahead and my chemo is currently on hold because of having the virus and multiple organ failure but I’ll fight cancer for as long as I can. My aim is to be able to go on a scooter ride with Nate and the Dr has said that that’s hopefully not too far off!”

For more information visit St Oswald’s Hospice

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