Covid-19: Milton Keynes Hospital wedding couple reunite at home

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image copyrightReuters
image captionElizabeth Kerr and Simon O'Brien were married moments before he was put on a mechanical ventilator

A couple who married on an intensive care ward when they were both seriously ill with Covid-19 have been reunited.

Elizabeth Kerr, 31, and Simon O'Brien, 36, were admitted to Milton Keynes University Hospital with breathing difficulties on 9 January.

Ms Kerr was discharged on 23 January, followed by her husband on 23 February. He said they would now "live every day to the full".

The couple, who had planned to marry in June, had to share an ambulance when they were admitted to hospital with dangerously low oxygen levels.

They were placed on separate wards, with nurse Hannah Cannon suggesting to the bride-to-be, who is also a nurse, that they marry in hospital.

With Mr O'Brien's health deteriorating, staff arranged the ceremony on 12 January, before immediately intubating the groom.

"When she [the nurse] came to tell me just how ill Simon was, she posed the idea because there was a very strong potential that if we didn't [have the service] then we wouldn't be getting married," said the bride.

'Very surreal'

Asked to describe the eight-minute ceremony, which was led by a vicar, the couple both replied "short".

"It was very surreal, surrounded by everyone in PPE [personal protective equipment]," added Ms Kerr.

"The vicar hadn't been fit-tested for a mask so they were in the whole regalia with the pump and everything else, to keep them safe."

image copyrightReuters
image captionA photo on Mrs Kerr's phone shows the wedding took place in the beds of the intensive care unit

However, both believed the decision to hold their nuptials at hospital gave the couple the strength to survive the virus.

"If we hadn't done it, the outcome would have been very different," she said.

The couple said they "could not thank staff enough".

"We saw them work so hard and give so much of themselves to everything they were doing," added Ms Kerr.

image copyrightReuters
image captionRapid response nurse Hannah Cannon with Elizabeth Kerr and Simon O'Brien

She added it was "horrendous" waiting for her husband to join her at home.

"It's driven me around the wall several times, but I'm just so glad to have him home now," she added.

Mr O'Brien said it was now a "second chance" for them both.

"I've had a scare, life's too short - you have to live every day to the full," he added.

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