Sunday Mirror - - KHAN SAIRA -

camp bed. Me­chanic Dar­ren had to rest be­tween the cer­e­mony at Hare­field Hos­pi­tal, Hilling­don, Lon­don, and the re­cep­tion.

Then he gath­ered all his strength to stand up from his wheel­chair for a few touch­ing mo­ments to have their first dance to Lukas Gra­ham’s Love Some­one.

Both Dar­ren and Lau­ren were di­ag­nosed at birth with cys­tic fi­bro­sis, and hos­pi­tal be­came their sec­ond home. Nei­ther were ex­pected to live be­yond 40.

But with­out the ge­netic dis­or­der they would never have met. They were both 21 when they were in­tro­duced in March 2015 at the funeral of a mu­tual friend and suf­ferer Ben Fidelia who died at 24.

Chat­ting at the wake, they re­alised they had met fleet­ingly be­fore in 2013, in a cor­ri­dor of Royal Bromp­ton Hos­pi­tal , Chelsea, where they had both re­ceived treat­ment.

Lau­ren, of Wat­ford, re­calls: “I’d seen these three six-foot blokes with their hoods up, com­ing to­wards me. I’m quite dinky so it was in­tim­i­dat­ing.

“Then as they got near one of them put his hand out, say­ing, ‘Let the lady through’. It was Dar­ren.”

When I knew I was go­ing to die we did all we could to get mar­ried DAR­REN EAST­WOOD ON HIS HOS­PI­TAL WED­DING


As the pair chat­ted at the funeral they re­alised how much they had in com­mon.

Weeks later, they met again at hos­pi­tal and their friend­ship blos­somed – of­ten stay­ing in neigh­bour­ing rooms. But their grow­ing close­ness wor­ried nurses, as CF pa­tients are not meant to mix be­cause of cross-in­fec­tion risks.

“They used to tell us off,” says Lau­ren. “One day we sneaked off to the pub and a doctor saw us. They tried to move us fur­ther apart, but we protested singing ‘we shall not be moved’ until they let us stay. We were in­sep­a­ra­ble.”

They saw in New Year 2016 watch­ing the fire­works on TV and shared their first kiss. Dar­ren re­calls: “I said, ‘what would you do if I gave you

HOPES DASHED To­gether af­ter trans­plant that later failed

SO IN LOVE ‘I’ll al­ways be with her,’ says dy­ing Dar­ren

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.