Dirty Dancing Disaster
Cerise just wanted to get hitched without a hitch
TCerise Snell, 28, Basingstoke he song was known the world over. ‘Now I’ve had the time of my life...’
My partner, Mike, 36, grabbed my hand and dragged me towards the dance floor.
‘It’s our song,’ he shouted over the music.
We drunkenly belted the lyrics to the Dirty Dancing track and danced like we always did. It was cheesy but we loved it. At 6ft 3ins, Mike would even scoop up my slight frame and re-create the famous lift - with a bit of a wobble.
‘We’ll have to request this track when we get married,’ I teased.
Together for 13 years, Mike had never officially proposed. He wasn’t the romantic type.
After having four children together, we had talked about it, but something would always come up and throw a spanner in the works.
We considered a wedding in Jamaica, but my dad didn’t want to fly that far. So we’d booked a venue close to home. But they cancelled us after a double booking. ‘Third time lucky, eh?’ Mike soothed, as I sobbed, frustrated.
We’d known each other since we were children as our parents lived next door to each other.
At 13, Mike was seven years older than me. He found me annoying and preferred to be with his mates on his bike, but when I hit my teens, Mike saw me in a different light.
We got together when I was 17, and I quickly fell pregnant with our first child.
Our son MJ, now 11, arrived and soon after, another boy, Taylor, now 10, followed.
I was truly outnumbered when we added to our brood with Rocco, eight, and Logan, four.
I gave up work to look after the boys, while Mike provided for us, working as an electrical engineer.
Despite no engagement ring on my finger, marriage was always
on the cards. By 2013 we were living with Mike’s parents so we were able to save up enough to book our big day.
‘This time there will be no setbacks,’ I said defiantly.
Mike and I chose a dusty pink and grey colour scheme, we drew up a guest list of 50 people for the ceremony with an added 150 for the reception, and went back to the hotel to re-book our date.
I found my perfect dress while Mike and the boys ordered matching grey suits. I’d found cream gowns for my bridesmaids - my nieces, Courtney, 12, and Scarlettrose, three.
‘Maybe this will be third time lucky,’ I said, excitedly.
When our day rolled around, I hadn’t expected it to go without a hitch, so when the photographer forgot the kit and had to dash back for it, I just laughed. Mike and I finally became man and wife in an intimate ceremony in front of our family and friends. At our reception, our first dance was ‘Love you to the end’ by The Pogues, from the romcom P.S. I Love You - one of our favourite films. We’d hired a DJ for the evening do and after a few hours, Mike marched up to the booth to make a request hoping for a romantic dance with his new wife. I was outside chatting to guests when I heard ‘Time of My Life’ come on – followed by a loud shriek. ‘What’s going on?’ I thought, quickly heading indoors. I found Mike on the floor being helped up by friends.
Something always went wrong
Mike heard the snap MY GROOM ALMOST DIED
On hearing the song, my excitable work colleague, Gemma, unexpectedly bounded towards him.
She thought he would lift her up just like Baby in the 1987 movie.
But he wasn’t prepared and his arms gave way, causing the pair to fall to the floor, and his knee to bend sharply in the wrong direction.
I dashed over. ‘What are you like?’ I giggled, not realising the severity of his injuries.
‘I really hope someone caught that on camera.’
Poor Mike hobbled off to the bar and numbed the pain with countless drinks. I called it a night early on. Unable to get out of my wedding dress, I fell asleep on the bed in it.
Mike’s friends helped him upstairs at 5am. His leg had doubled in size and he couldn’t even get his trousers off, so we both slept fully-clothed. The next morning, I rolled over to find Mike groaning in pain. ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked. ‘It’s my knee,’ he winced.
Glancing down, I noticed it was three times its normal size.
I collected our things together and helped him out of the hotel and into our car.
I drove him straight to A&E at North Hampshire Hospital, grabbed a wheelchair and pushed him inside.
An x-ray showed no broken bones, but medics diagnosed fractured or snapped ligaments - including the anterior cruciate, meniscus and medial collateral. ‘I’m afraid everything that could have gone wrong, has gone wrong,’ the doctor told us.
Mike’s leg was put in a brace to keep it straight and he needed it to be elevated too.
He was sent home with painkillers and crutches and told to get plenty of rest.
We had plans to fly off to Jamaica in a few days.
But that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. ‘I guess that’s our honeymoon out the window then,’ I sighed, disappointed.
Mike had to have hospital treatment every two weeks for three months to reduce the swelling.
He had physiotherapy sessions, but after no improvement months later, the consultant explained Mike would need reconstruction surgery.
They rebuilt his entire knee during a four hour operation, which involved drilling metal into his bones, and making new ligaments from his left hamstring.
The operation was initially a success, but just a month later he was rushed back to hospital with an extreme infection.
It was so severe that he nearly died from blood poisoning and he had to have a series of operations to flush it out. Medics told me the infection was so bad that if Mike had been an older man he wouldn’t have made it. We thought he was on the mend, but a few weeks later we found out the infection had eaten away some of Mike’s replaced ligaments, putting him back in hospital again. He was released - just in time for our first wedding anniversary on 20th June - but he soon faces having another reconstruction. More than year after the mishap, Mike has only just got back on his feet. We’re not angry with Gemma at all. It was just an innocent accident and we’re sure she didn’t mean for all of this to happen the way it did. If I had any advice for wedding guests it would be to leave the groom to his bride - and the moves to the professionals!
It was our song
Finally Mr and Mrs
Not the time of our lives