To mark Hospice Care Week 2019 we’re highlighting how hospices go the extra mile to deliver care for their patients. Weldmar Hospicecare in Dorchester recently made dreams come true for a patient by organising his wedding in less than 24 hours.
Duncan Clarke, who was being cared for at the hospice’s in-patient unit, married Kate Baldwin in the hospice’s Orangery Restaurant.
Licences, the order of service, flowers, catering, and photographs were all arranged within 24 hours of Duncan and Kate deciding to tie the knot, and provided by the team at Weldmar.
“The doctor felt that because I’m relatively young, I may have a couple of weeks left, rather than a day or two, so let’s try and make something of this” Duncan said. “Let’s get married if we can, and remember it. There is a future. Whether the future is a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks, you never know it could be a few months, and Weldmar has made it possible for us to be husband and wife.”
Kate was full of praise for the hospice. “They’ve actually pulled out the impossible. When we came to the hospice we never thought it would be possible to get married. It’s just like a fairytale wedding, it’s just been beautiful. There was no hassle for us – for example the chef asked us the day before what food we wanted, and to see the buffet today, everything is beautiful. It’s made our wedding.”
Weldmar’s Chaplain, Lucyann Ashdown, performed the service in front of family, friends, and staff from the hospice, whilst Dr Paul Baker walked the bride down the aisle and performed a reading.
Duncan sadly passed away since the wedding. The hospice’s Director of Nursing, Caroline Sweetland, reiterated the importance of making the most of the time that is available. She said: “Being able to put together a special occasion like this at short notice is such an important part of what we can do. We often talk about making the most of time and it was a huge privilege to be able to help on this occasion to make this such a special time for Duncan and Kate.”
The wedding, including catering from Weldmar’s catering arm Zest, was all provided free of charge – just like all other services. Weldmar believes that hospice care is more about what you can do for patients to make their end of life care as personal and individual as possible.
For more information visit Weldmar Hospicecare
Hospice Care Week runs until October 13.