New bride Angie Bax received a particularly special gift when her terminally ill father gave her away in a ceremony at West Suffolk Hospital on Monday.
Thomas Cuddihy, 68, from Thetford, is being treated for terminal lung cancer and was unable to leave the hospital on his daughter’s big day, so a special ceremony was arranged in the hospital chapel.
Thomas and his wife Angela, who live in Thetford, attended the ceremony with bridegroom Tom’s parents Brenda and Simon Bax, who travelled from their home in Southampton.
Angie said: “It was a once in a lifetime chance. To have him there was wonderful, it was perfect.
“I’m the youngest sibling of a very large family. My dad has not had a chance to give any other daughters away as yet, so it was a very proud moment for him too.”
Thomas’ condition was only diagnosed as terminal on September 5, so Angie and new husband Tom decided to bring their nuptials forward.
A junior doctor was on hand to monitor Thomas’ condition throughout the ceremony.
Angie said: “We got engaged on August 1. My father was only given eight weeks, so we didn’t want to waste any time. Everything was already in place.
“My father picked out my dress. He has been part of everything every step of the way.”
Angie praised the hospital’s lead chaplain, the Rev Ian Howells, who conducted the ceremony.
“He did us a fantastic service and made it so personal,” she said.
“The staff on the ward were also amazing.”
Angie, 31, a customer service adviser, and Tom, 30, an electrician, have known each other almost four years and live in Southampton.
Angie is currently at her parents’ home, awaiting her father’s return from hospital.
“We are looking for him to come home by the end of the week so we can make him a bit more comfortable,” she said.
“Due to the small time frame my father has, everyone in the family has come back home so we can make his last few weeks really special.”