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