Woman Marries Partner of 18 Years in the Hospital Just Days before Passing Away from Cancer

Lois Oladejo
Oct 07, 2021
05:30 P.M.

The Royal Stoke Hospital witnessed the climax of a love story after one of their patients tied the knot with her longtime partner while laying on her deathbed.


Amanda Littleton and David Reader spent the last eighteen years of their lives together, all the while hoping for the perfect opportunity to seal their union. That opportunity did come eventually, but not in the way the couple anticipated.

Littleton, 58, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in her kidneys, ovaries, stomach linings, and bowels in July and has been left battling for her life. As her condition worsened, she discovered she had only a few days to live.

A picture of Amanda Littleton and David Reader with the priest who joined them in holy matrimony | Photo: Getty Images

A picture of Amanda Littleton and David Reader with the priest who joined them in holy matrimony | Photo: Getty Images

Given their love for each other, the pair, saddened by their fate, only wished to make their love official before death came between them. The staff at Royal Stoke University stepped in upon learning of their wishes.


They worked tirelessly to plan a wedding for the two lovebirds, eventually accomplishing what the couple had yearned for in the last eighteen years in a record two hours.

They converted a side room of the hospital’s emergency department into a well-decorated wedding venue and invited friends, colleagues, and relatives of the couple.

The event went on smoothly, marking the third wedding held at the department since the hospital was founded. Reader and Littleton were over themselves with excitement and gratitude to have seen their big day finally come true. The new groom divulged:


“We never thought that today would happen, but we’ve all got here. We’re so grateful to everybody here today, the staff has totally outdone themselves.”

The emergency department matron Claire Tooth shared the newlyweds’ excitement, commending all the staff members who rallied to make the wedding successful.

She explained that being the third wedding held at the department, everyone strived to make it as special and memorable as possible. Their intervention notably came at the nick of time, as Littleton, 58, passed away on September 29, five days after the hospital ceremony.


In a touching tribute, Reader described his wife as witty, caring, and loving, also admitting he would miss her. He pointed out that Littleton gave him the best eighteen years of his life.

Watching his longtime companion and soulmate die in his arms was admittedly the worst day of his life. Her death left him feeling his heart has been ripped out.

Witnessing the slow deterioration and eventual death of a loved one is never an easy feat. Yet, many like Reader have had to go through that, sometimes resorting to an emergency wedding in fulfillment of their love.


Last year, two high school seniors, Chase and Sadie Smith, made headlines when they tied the knot in an intimate ceremony after learning the former had only months to live.

A couple at their wedding exchanging vows and rings | Photo: Pexels

A couple at their wedding exchanging vows and rings | Photo: Pexels

Chase, who had experienced malignant tumors since he was 13, suddenly had a relapse in March, after years of living tumor-free. The sudden attack left him with tumors on his shoulder, lungs, hips, and skull.

Doctors told him he had three to five months to live, plunging the young lovers into sadness. They decided to make the most of their remaining time together, getting married and vowing to spend every minute they had left in each other’s company.

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