‘Daddy told me he would be at my wedding and he was’

A kiss from Daddy. Charlene, her mum Bridgeen and her Dad Charlie.
A kiss from Daddy. Charlene, her mum Bridgeen and her Dad Charlie.

A Derry woman has revealed how the staff of the Foyle Hospice made her dream come true by helping her terminally ill father attend her wedding.

Charlene Morrow moved her wedding forward when she found out her dad Charlie McCrudden was seriously ill.

The McCrudden family pictured at the wedding of Charlie's daughter Laura.

The McCrudden family pictured at the wedding of Charlie's daughter Laura.

But just days before the ceremony, Charlie’s health took a turn for the worse.

“He told me not to cancel the wedding, he would be there,” said Charlene. “But he slipped into a coma. I didn’t know what to do, whether I should go ahead or not. We had a plan that mammy would walk me down the aisle, she would do the speech.

“But a miracle happened when daddy woke up. And he was there. He did what he said he would do. He walked me down the aisle, he made his speech, and we had that first dance. He was so proud, it was unbelievable.”

Two weeks later her beloved dad, Charlie (62), who had been well known as a local footballer, passed away.

The outpouring of grief that followed his passing was so immense that at the wake, the family had to take a door off its hinges to accommodate the hundreds of mourners.

For Charlene, it was the care provided by the Foyle Hospice home care team, that eased the last months of her father’s illness.

The family feel so strongly about the impact that the hospice nurses made on their lives that they are taking part in the Foyle Hospice walk/run in memory of Charlie on June 12. Charlene will be walking with her mum, Bridgeen and sister Laura.

“We take part every year,” said Charlene. “But this year it will be special because we are remembering daddy.

“He loved the Hospice and they helped so much with his pain. He was looked after by the home care team but he was also in the hospice for two weeks. They ‘ruined’ him in there, he loved the food.

“He got on with everyone but that was him, he was such a gentleman.

“The nurses at the hospice are amazing, you couldn’t fault them. They had time for everyone. My daddy wouldn’t have been at my wedding without them. I know now how much the people at the hospice do, how stressful the job can be. They are amazing. People don’t realise everything they do, not just looking after patients but also their families.”

The date for this year’s Foyle Hospice walk/run has now been set for Sunday 12th June and the organisers are encouraging as many people as possible to register early.

Online entries are now open by logging on to the Foyle Hospice website at www.foylehospice.com. Alternatively people can contact the Fundraising Office on (028)71359888 and request a form. If you have participated in the event over the past few weeks you will automatically receive your entry in the post over the next couple of weeks.