Terminally ill man whose dying wish was to marry dies two months after wedding

KATY AND DAVID SMITH SIGN THEIR REGISTRY WITH THEIR SON DANIEL
KATY AND DAVID SMITH SIGN THEIR REGISTRY WITH THEIR SON DANIEL

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 home on Saturday with his wife Katy and other family members at his bedside.

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

Their four-year-old son Danny was at their side.

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

Speaking on Tuesday, the day after David was interred in Kernan Cemetery in Portadown, 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 me and 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.

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

“We had been 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 from hospital on New Year’s Eve.

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

She thanked all of David’s friends - which she said were from both sides of the community - who “helped keep his spirits up”.

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

Among the readings at his funeral service was Psalm 23 - The Lord is My Shepherd, which gave him comfort in his final days.