‘I sat in the room with her, and played the song that we always joked would be our first dance at our wedding.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 13, 2022. It has since been updated.
A man who lost his girlfriend unexpectedly is now motivated to fulfill her last wish. The couple had been attending a friend's wedding in Italy with her boyfriend Aidan Solan just a few months before Alex Halley passed away. The 27-year-old, who Aidan referred to as a "caricature of a good person," had been unwell, and it was during their vacation that a doctor called to inform them that she had cervical cancer. Although the pair first believed Alex's stomach issues were a result of coming off the pill, Aidan explained that "your mind always goes to the most positive potential outcome", but just eight weeks after she was diagnosed, Alex was dead, at the age of just 27, reported Mirror.
The London-based couple got a call from the doctors in August 2022, while celebrating a friend's wedding in Italy. Since Alex was not feeling well, the couple had already decided to cancel their trip early with the intention of returning later. Alex started crying right after the call, but Aidan claims it took him two days to realize what had happened. Speaking to the Mirror, Aidan, 29, said: "I don't know whether it was a panic attack or what, but I was just hysterically, hysterically crying. I couldn't stop. The following several months for Aidan were "a bit of a blur," with Alex coming and going from the hospital until she was admitted as an inpatient five weeks before she passed away. Her mother would be by her side every day, and Aidan would take over in the evenings after work.
She remained resilient throughout the ordeal, taking everything "on the chin" up until she was informed that she probably only had one week to live. Telling their story to The Mirror, Aidan recalled: "We got told on Thursday that it was terminal, and I said my proper last goodbyes then. I sat in the room with her, and played the song that we always joked would be our first dance at our wedding." Aidan and Alex had a conversation about her dream to build an accessible playground where kids with disabilities would play with their friends and siblings. In a school for children with physical impairments and special sensory demands, Alex worked for the NHS as an occupational therapist. According to Aidan, "she had such a positive impact on people's lives, particularly these children."
Aidan couldn't see Alex in the ICU since he had a coronavirus infection shortly after saying his final proper farewell. Aidan has now started a fundraising campaign to assist realize Alex's playground dream, and he has already earned more than £22,000 of the $80,000 target. It would be difficult to find someone who "enjoys their work as much" as Alex, he added, adding that Alex's kind nature will "shine through." He added that Alex would show him images of pajama day with the kids or a humorous thing one of the kids had said every night when she returned home with a huge smile on her face. Working with these youngsters in particular, as an occupational therapist, she had discovered her purpose.
My incredible colleague Alex was so dedicated to her role as a paediatric occupational therapist. Her partner is raising money to build an accessible playground in her memory https://t.co/3TkrUTvBEH https://t.co/KQzFxXXppc— Rob Molloy (@RobTheOT) December 7, 2022
When Aidan's coronavirus test came back positive the next morning, he was unable to see Alex in the hospital again and was instead only allowed to reach her by phone. “She said a few things that were probably just the morphine talking, and she told me 'I miss you', which was really nice." Alex passed just a few days and, looking back, Aidan finds it incredible that they had been on vacation in Italy just two months prior, where she had been "the life and soul of the party." Aidan said. “That caring, loving, selfless person. I see [the playground] as a way that could prolong the legacy that she was already building." You can donate to Aidan's fundraiser here.