Cancer sufferer passes away two months after dream wedding

David Smith with his wife Katy on their wedding day, and their four-year-old son Danny
David Smith with his wife Katy on their wedding day, and their four-year-old son Danny

A terminally ill Portadown man who fulfilled his dying wish to marry his long-term girlfriend has passed away just two months after their dream wedding.

David Smith, 34, who had a brain tumour, died at his home on Saturday with wife Katy and other family members at his bedside.

David and Katy had tied the knot in Katy’s home town in England in November in what David described as his “best day ever”.

Their son Danny, four, was at their side.

The couple were helped by the charity Gift of a Wedding, which ensured they had a day to treasure.

Speaking on Tuesday, the day after David was interred in Kernan Cemetery, Katy said she was relieved her husband’s suffering was at an end.

She said: “The last few weeks have been awful. David had wanted to die at home, and myself, my mum and dad and David’s mum and sister were with him when he passed away.

“He is at peace now. He is not in pain any more.”

Katy said David, who was first diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2010, had gone “downhill” in the past month.

She said: “David started to get worse before Christmas. He began to lose mobility on his right hand side, and then his speech started to go as well.

“We had meant to go over to England for Christmas but David was too ill.”

In what was a terrifying experience for Katy, David suffered a major seizure the day after Boxing Day and spent a week in hospital.

She added: “They did another scan and said the tumour was starting to grow again.

“David had been using his hands before that but I noticed in hospital he couldn’t open a packet of crisps.”

With the hospital unable to do any more for him, David was discharged on New Year’s Eve.

Katy said: “David wanted to go home. We had brilliant carers coming in every day from Ann’s Home Care, and the district nurse Jill McIldoon and the Marie Curie nurses were so good.”

Katy has thanked all of David’s friends - from both sides of the community - who helped keep his spirits up, particularly his best friend Gareth Martin and Gareth’s brother Keith, as well as members of both her and David’s families, their neighbours in the Park Road area, Portadown Integrated PS, and Robert Chambers and Dr Martyn Cowan of First Portadown Presbyterian Church.

David had planned his own funeral and, according to his wishes, donations in lieu of flowers were given to the charity Gift of a Wedding.