Husband pays tribute to 'beautiful' bride who died three days after wedding

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A man who tied the knot with his terminally ill wife at Loros just days before she died has told how it "meant the world" that he could fulfil her dream of being married, 17 years after he proposed.

Gregory Smith, of Syston, married Claire Rose-Smith while she was a patient at the hospice, in Groby Road, Leicester.

Nursery nurse Claire, 38, who has two children with Greg, had been battling breast cancer for two years.

She died at Loros just three days after the wedding.

'She looked fantastic': Claire in her gown on her big day

"I was lost for words. Claire looked fantastic. And for that short space of time, everything that was happening with Claire just disappeared."

Greg said Claire had been "badgering" him to get married since he proposed 17 years ago, and when she was on the ward at Loros he thought it was about time he fulfilled her wish.

"I mentioned it to her on the Sunday and before I knew it, I was on the phone to the registrar," said Greg.

"And after I told them the circumstances, they said we could get married 'on Thursday'.

"When I said, do you mean next Thursday, or in two weeks, she said no, this Thursday. I couldn't believe it.

"Between us, our family, friends and Loros, we had just a few days to organise a whole wedding and we did it.

"It was a great team effort."

The couple sip champagne to celebrate their nuptials

From then, Greg and Claire's friends and families rallied round, picking up jobs and tasks to make their wedding day possible.

"I was running around getting the rings and Claire's mum was flying off getting the short prom dresses," said Greg, "while one of our friends stayed up all night to bake our cake.

"But everything seemed to fit into place perfectly."

Greg and Claire's daughter, seven-year-old Kiera, was a bridesmaid on the day, and son, 16-year-old Jordan, was best man.

Happy family: The couple and their children

"Having the wedding gave the kids something special to remember their mum by," said Greg.

"Plus, so many of our family and friends were able to be there. We all had such fun after, like we had a frame that people posed in with silly faces. You would never have believed we were in a hospice. You would've thought we were in a hotel.

"It meant the world to us that we were able to get married at Loros. None of us will ever lose those memories."

The wedding took place last month.

Fun and laughter: Greg and the children have memories they will never forget

After Claire died, the family set up a JustGiving page, which has raised more than £2,000 for the hospice in just a matter of weeks, smashing the target of £500.

"It's amazing the amount of support we have received since Claire died," said Greg.

"Dodds Solicitors saw the pictures of our wedding on Facebook and got in touch, offering to help out with any financial and legal support, while a local company called Occasions, in Syston, donated all money we gave to them for my daughter's birthday party to Loros.

"It's so heart-warming the amount of support we have had.

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2016-12-5 -04:00
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