A proud father fulfilled his dream of giving his daughter away on her wedding day despite suffering a stroke thanks to dedicated staff from the Trust’s Stroke Unit
Mark Edwards, from Aughton, was referred to the Stroke Unit in July and was an inpatient for 27 days before being cared for at home by his family with specialist input from Natalie Cox, an Occupational Therapist, and Katie McEwan, a Physiotherapist as part of the Stroke Team’s Early Supported Discharge service.
The 55-year-old’s main motivation throughout his rehabilitation to date was to attend his daughter Laura’s wedding in September at St Mary’s Church in Handsworth and at The Old Rectory, Sheffield.
The dedicated dad dreamed of accompanying Laura to church in a vintage car and being able to stand long enough to give her away when she married husband Steve.
Mark said: “It was very much Natalie and Katie’s ambition to get me to the wedding as much as it was mine. They wanted to succeed in getting me to the wedding and they even came on the morning to help me get ready. Katie and I needed a little help from You Tube to tie my cravat!
“Everyone was happy to see me at the wedding. My son pushed me down the aisle and I got my cue to stand to give Laura away. I felt really proud of how far I’ve come. But I couldn’t have done it without Natalie and Katie’s support.”
Mark suffered a stroke and came to the Stroke Unit in Rotherham shortly afterwards in July. Since his stroke he has worked daily on his rehabilitation to regain his independence.
Katie said: “The goals Mark had for the wedding were complex but we were all determined to help him fulfil his dream and to make the wedding a day to remember. He wanted to travel with Laura to the church, to stand for long enough to give her away and for the official photographs. As part of his rehabilitation we worked hard to help him to stand and to improve his stamina.
“It was a challenge but having something so wonderful to work towards has helped his recovery. Mark is still unable to walk so we helped him in and out of the car, into a wheelchair. He was pushed down the aisle by his son Ross and we made sure he could stand with Laura in church to give her away.
“Mark mentioned Natalie and I in his speech and said that he would not have been there without our help and support. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house! We felt incredibly honoured to be able to support him at the wedding and proud of the work we’d put in to help him get there.”
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Photo caption: Bride Laura with her dad Mark Edwards, Katie McEwan and Natalie Cox.
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