Reunited childhood sweethearts marry in hospice ceremony

Margarida, who has a terminal illness, and Paulo reunited in London years after having dated in Madeira as teenagers.

Margarida and Paulo at their wedding
Margarida and Paulo at their wedding

A woman with a terminal illness married her childhood sweetheart with the help of the staff at her hospice.

Margarida and Paulo, who did not wish to give their surnames, originally met and dated as teenagers in Madeira, Portugal, where they are from, but drifted apart and were only reunited when they met again in London years later.

Margarida and Paulo at their wedding
Margarida and Paulo married at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead on Tuesday (Marie Curie)

When Margarida’s illness meant she had to move into the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead earlier this month, the couple decided to marry, setting the date for October 27.

Staff helped with preparations, doing Margarida’s hair and nails, while Paulo sourced her dress for the wedding, which took place in the hospice’s lounge with views over London.

Margarida said: “It was an amazing day, everything went perfectly.”

One of the couple’s eight guests baked a cake for the occasion.

Margarida and Paulo's wedding cake
One of Margarida and Paulo’s wedding guests baked a cake for the occasion (Marie Curie)

Margarida spent half an hour at the party in her wheelchair as guests ate pizza and drank champagne, before returning to her bed.

Glyn Thomas, senior social worker at the Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead, said: “It was an honour to share Margarida and Paulo’s big day and a privilege to be able to bring the whole hospice together in arranging this marriage in what are challenging and difficult times.

“We were able to make this a memorable day for them whilst still adhering to all the rules around Covid-19.”

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