Chas Hobbs and Shirley Reason have been in a loving relationship for 13 years. Thanks to Hobbs' hospice care staff, the couple finally got to say "I do."
Chas Hobbs, aged 67, has been in a committed relationship with his partner Shirley Reason for 13 years. He wanted to tie the knot with her before his cirrhosis deteriorated further. However, as he currently lives in hospice and owing to the ongoing public health crisis, it seemed like his big day would never arrive. When he was admitted to Fair Havens in Prittlewell, Southend, in the United Kingdom, the couple managed to say their vows to each other within two days—thanks to the care home's dedicated staff members. Hobbs said the staff went "beyond any expectation you could imagine" to plan both a ceremony as well as a wedding breakfast for the newly-betrothed couple, BBC News reports.
Southend hospice staff arrange couple's wedding in 24 hours https://t.co/S3SabCBK8Y— BBC News England (@BBCEngland) September 22, 2020
"It was only very recently that we decided to get married, but I knew I couldn't take on those arrangements myself," Reason, who now goes by Mrs. Hobbs, said. "You can tell the staff thoroughly enjoy working here and they've given up their own time to help us prepare for our wedding day. The team pampered me, styled my hair, decorated the private garden outside Chas's room, and made a cake decorated with butterflies." Evidently, a lot of care went into their big day.
Martin Hill, the spiritual care lead at Fair Havens, said, "When people realize this is the wish of someone approaching the end of their life, it's so important to get it right." Hobbs was admitted to the care home after his condition worsened during lockdown, following a major operation 18 months ago. At first, the couple struggled to find the right place for him, but they eventually found Fair Havens. Healthcare assistant manager Julie Stott-Skold stated, "We made a special wedding breakfast for Chas and Shirley, and then pampered the bride-to-be as we got Chas into his suit. We even created a makeshift garter from a catheter strap and a knitted heart."
For Hobbs and Reason, the newly-married couple, these gestures meant the entire world. Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver caused by long-term damage. This prevents the organ from functioning properly, which means life can be tough for someone living with the condition. Therefore, the day they got married was definitely a moment to treasure forever. "The time they have together is precious, so it was important to make their wedding day as special as possible," Stott-Skold affirmed. "There wasn't a dry eye in the room."