Cancer patient given dying wish to wed by kind nurses

Senior charge nurse Rhoda Patterson with her oncology team and NHS Highland chairman Garry Coutts

Senior charge nurse Rhoda Patterson with her oncology team and NHS Highland chairman Garry Coutts

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A terminally ill cancer patient was given his dying wish to get married by staff who arranged the wedding at a Highland hospital.

The latest recipient of an NHS Highland award has been recognised for going that extra mile for a patient who was receiving end-of-life care.

Ward GC, which cares for oncology patients at Raigmore Hospital, has been praised for the excellent manner in which it handled a request from the terminally ill patient, who has not been named.

The patient on the ward had decided with their partner that they wanted to get married following a significant deterioration in their health.

Without even thinking twice about it senior charge nurse Rhoda Patterson and her team set out to make the day as special for the couple as they could.

In the space of an afternoon, while still caring for all their other patients, they turned a quiet room within the ward into a temporary wedding venue complete with decorations, flowers, a cake and even confetti.

The couple were married that evening and staff supplied a camera phone to ensure that they had a few mementos of the occasion.

The patient later died.

In the nomination for a Highland Quality Award Rhoda and her team were praised for always doing an excellent job in ensuring that the time spent by patients on their ward was the best it could be and for handling what was a very difficult and poignant time for all involved superbly well.

Garry Coutts, chair of NHS Highland, who presented the award, said: “What Rhoda and her team did for this patient was above and beyond the already excellent care they deliver to vulnerable patients every day.” Scottish heritage: for stories on Scotland’s people, places and history >>

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