Behind a smiling photo of a beautiful bride is a tragic story of how the woman battled cancer for years before being granted her last wish to marry her partner.
Sarah Foster, from Melbourne, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2018 when she was just 33.
The House of Wellness reports she was given the devastating diagnosis after suffering from back aches that she thought were due to exercise.
She had met her partner Justin Tham just five months before her diagnosis, and he remained by her side and even proposed in 2019.
“It wasn’t because ‘I know she’s dying, we have to get married now’,” he told The Herald Sun.
“We wanted to get married already, we knew we wanted to get married.
“We never asked, ‘how much time is left?’.”
After the coronavirus pandemic put the wedding on hold and Ms Foster’s condition began deteriorating in August, a bold plan was put into action for the couple to realise their dream.
The Herald Sun reports on August 31, Ms Foster woke to find her hospital room had been decorated for a wedding, with flower arrangements, candles and champagne.
Mr Tham and staff at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne had made the wedding a reality, with a nurse donating a wedding dress while others organising catering and a cake.
Mr Tham told The Herald Sun the wedding was “just beautiful” and they concentrated on appreciating the moment.
Sarah’s final weeks with new husband
Two days after their wedding, Ms Foster returned home with her new husband before sadly passing away on November 10.
In a post on Instagram announcing her death, Ms Foster’s family said she was at home, “surrounded with love”.
“The final weeks of her life were filled with love, tenderness, courage, comedy and togetherness,” the family wrote.
“She gifted us with more weeks than anyone expected due to her extraordinary ability to stall and run late for things that she really didn’t want to do.
“We will be forever grateful to all of the people who supported Sarah throughout her life, particularly her friends, family and the incredible health care provided by St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Melbourne City Mission Palliative Care.”
Befekir Kebede, who took photos of Ms Foster’s wedding, also posted a touching tribute on Facebook following her death.
“It was Sarah’s last wish to marry her best friend before she died,” he wrote.
“I am happy to have captured Sarah’s smile on her wedding day and that’s how I will remember her.”
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