Coronavirus: Middlesbrough couple married under emergency powers

Christine Meaney and Desmond CodonaImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Christine Meaney and Desmond Codona were married at their home in Middlesbrough

A couple have got married under emergency powers after the groom was told he only has weeks to live.

Desmond Codona, 59, who has terminal cancer, was able to marry Christine Meaney, 60, at their home in Middlesbrough two days after contacting registrars.

Weddings are suspended because of the coronavirus lockdown but emergency ceremonies can be applied for.

The newlyweds, who have three children, said they were on "cloud nine".

The couple's eldest daughter Suzi contacted principal registrar Dawn Galloway after hearing her father say he had always wanted to marry Ms Meaney.

Two days after the request, Ms Galloway and her deputy Sarah Teece went to the home in Hemlington to marry the couple while wearing full personal protective equipment.

The new bride said the registrars were "absolutely exceptional" and "put their lives on the line".

Image source, Middlesbrough Council
Image caption,
Registrars Dawn Galloway and Sarah Teece carried out the wedding

She said: "Des has always wanted us to be married but the time has never been right.

"It was very surreal, we are both on cloud nine.

"Des is absolutely buzzing. It has really picked him up and that has made me feel a lot better. It's given him a real boost."

Mr Codona said: "It's the best thing I've ever done."

Emergency weddings are being looked at on a case by case basis by the registrars and only granted in the most exceptional of circumstances, Middlesbrough Council said.

"They are a lovely family and a lovely couple and we are really pleased that we were able to grant this wish and make it happen for them," said Ms Galloway after the ceremony.

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