Blessing given to wedding at girl’s hospice

This Is Wiltshire: Louise Duman and Richard Dicks with their daughters Lois, six months, and Ella, five, who has a complex genetic medical condition Louise Duman and Richard Dicks with their daughters Lois, six months, and Ella, five, who has a complex genetic medical condition

Parents Richard Dicks and Louise Duman chose to have their wedding day blessed at the hospice where their daughter receives respite care.

Five-year-old Ella suffers from a complex genetic medical condition and her mum and dad were anxious for her not to miss out on the occasion.

The couple, of Kings Avenue, Corsham, have been together for seven-and-a-half years but a wedding with their daughter present seemed an impossible task.

Ella, who came out of intensive care in June, has a number of specialist medical needs but thanks to the help of Helen and Douglas House Hospice in Oxford, where she regularly visits for respite, she can be cared for by members of the team throughout the day.

Mr Dicks said: “We had a talk with the hospice chaplain Stephen Harrison and Louise said one of the things she would like is for Ella to see her parents get married, but because of the pressure and care she needs our wedding seemed impossible. So it was the chaplain who suggested the idea and gave us the inspiration.”

Art student Mr Dicks and life coach Ms Duman wed on August 15 at Oxford Register Office before the blessing at Helen and Douglas House, where they were joined by the care staff and their younger daughter Lois, who is six months old, for the ceremony and a small celebration party afterwards.

Mr Dicks said: “It was an uplifting experience and quite emotional. It’s something we would not have been able to achieve without the help of the hospice. It was a wonderful gesture and we can’t imagine how it would have happened without them.”

Mrs Dicks said: “Ella has been so poorly and we nearly lost her, so we thought it would be really nice to get married while Ella’s still here. It’s really for the girls’ memories. We wanted the wedding and blessing together.”

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