Bride-to-be ends up planning fiance's funeral instead of their wedding

Caroline Waine wanted to organise her wedding this year, but instead she ended up planning her fiances funeral.

Caroline Waine of Woolton. Caroline had to withdraw from the Echo Win a Wedding Competition after the death of her fiancé, Stuart Murphy, from cancer. Pictured here with his Liverpool FC blanket and photograph

Caroline Waine wanted to organise her wedding this year, but instead she ended up planning her fiance's funeral.

Unfortunately, the love of her life, Stuart Murphy died of cancer on March 12, barely 14 months after the couple met and fell in love.

"Stuart was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma just four months after we met," says Waine.

But it's like I was there to help him through it - and I am so proud and privileged to have been able to do that.

"I would have liked to have longer with Stuart, but I would rather have had that short time with him than to never have been with him at all."

The couple entered the Echo's Win A Wedding competition amid hopes of defeating the illness and binding their love with a dream wedding.

But Waine was forced to withdraw her entry after Stuart sadly lost his life.

Speaking to Liverpool Echo, she said: "Thanks so much for entering my partner and I in the Echo to win a dream wedding, but unfortunately, and with great sadness, I will have to withdraw from the competition as Stuart passed away... He lost his battle with cancer at the age of 31.

"It was our dream to get married but there wasn't enough time. I was at his bedside holding his hand so he wasn't alone."

And she signed it 'His broken hearted fiancee'.

They shared a love and a relationship that was clearly meant to be, if not to last.

Waine had known of Murphy 13 years ago because he worked with her sister, Vicky, but it was only at the beginning of last year that they actually met.

Waine, 34, from Woolton, explains: "I met him on a dating website.

"Stuart invited me over to his home in and offered to cook a meal for me. I wouldn’t have done that normally but I asked Vicky if she knew him and when she told me he was nice, I said yes.

"We got on really well; he was such a nice, genuine, caring fella, lovely and funny... and he was fit!" she smiles.

"I had two weeks off work and so we spent a lot of time together and got to know one another really quickly. It's like it was meant to be."

Life was looking good until April last year when Murphy developed a lump in his neck.

"He joked that he could be allergic to chocolate as it was Easter," says Waine, who works in pharmacy and IT at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. But as the lump swelled and he began to have other symptoms, Murphy knew he had to seek medical advice.

It was at Whiston Hospital that Murphy discovered that there were lumps in his chest too, and a biopsy revealed the cancer.

"I stayed with him throughout the day of his biopsy, passing him water and whatever he needed, I didn't want to leave him. He said it was that day he realised I was 'the one'."

From May to October last year, Murphy, whose parents, Stephen and Sharron flew back from their home in Spain, to help look after him with Waine, underwent a variety of chemotherapy treatments.

He also suffered mouth infections and as a result, he was unable to eat and speak, and he was in great pain. Waine spent her days at work and her nights at hospital with Murphy.

In the July, Waine says he told her he wanted to show her how much she meant to him: "He gave me a hug and I said I loved him, after which he asked 'enough to say yes?' And he got out this ring," she says, touching the sparkling diamond ring she still wears.

Murphy was always due to have a bone marrow transplant in November at the Royal Hospital, but in September/October, the lump in his neck returned and a new chemo regime was established. The lump disappeared but, again, came back.

"In between the last regime and his transplant Stuart had to go to for radiotherapy, but he remained the joker, always positive. It was during the transplant time that a doctor told us 'you are going to need a miracle' but still we didn't give up hope. We said we would marry in January.

"Vicky bought me a wedding planner and we decided who would come, the songs we would have, who the bridesmaids and best man would be. I went dress shopping just the once.

"We had a lovely Christmas but Stuart began to get more pain and he said he knew it had come back."

The doctors found another chemotherapy regime to try: "We even pencilled in a date for the wedding in March, before we saw the competition in the Echo," says Caroline. "We could have got married earlier but Stuart said he didn't want my last memory of him and our wedding to be him on his death bed."

The couple remained hopeful they could be married, but they both realised it wasn't going to be possible.

"For the last four days of his life, I barely let go of Stuart's hand and before he died I told him I loved him and asked him to visit me in my dreams.

"It took me 33 years to find him and he got taken away, but I feel I was there to get him through it.

"We may never have been married but I loved him, in health, and in sickness.

"I wish I had had longer with him, but I treasure the time we had."

And she adds: "We might not have the chance to win our wedding but I wish the couple who do all the very best and urge them to cherish each other and their married life."


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