Sick man living for the moment weds in ward

2008-11-28 00:00

WHEN Roderick Harris (33) was diagnosed with renal failure and admitted to hospital some two weeks ago, he felt that it was time he “lived for the moment”.

This prompted him to do the thing he deemed most important in his life “before it was too late” — marry his fiancée.

Being in hospital and having to undergo four dialysis sessions a week was not going to deter him.

On Thursday, with the help of St Augustine’s Hospital, Harris tied the knot with his sweetheart, 27-year-old Bridgitte Lisa Redman.

St Augustine’s surgical ward one was the venue of the small ceremony, which was presided over by the couple’s minister, Chris Wood. The hospital donated a cake and snacks and Harris’s suit was sponsored by Lord Louis Suit Hire. Commenting on “the most wonderful day of his life”, Harris said: “I have not looked so smart since my matric dance in high school”.

And for their “honeymoon”, the hospital organised for the bride to spend the night with the groom.

“They included an extra bed in my ward, which is where she slept. For a moment the ward became a honeymoon suite,” said Harris with a chuckle.

The newlyweds met in April while working for an IT company and started dating in July. Two months later, on September 25, he popped the big question. “It was a very spontaneous thing. I did not have a ring or anything like that. We were just having a heart to heart conversation when I went down on my knees and asked her to marry me,” Harris said.

Redman, a mother of two, said yes, and the couple agreed on April 4, 2009 as the wedding date.

But when Harris was diagnosed with renal failure, they decided not to waste any time.

“The idea came when Roderick was first diagnosed and a nursing matron … told us how her daughter had been engaged to someone who had a brain tumour. She told us that the couple never got married as he later died. That is when we thought that we should rather get married early so that if anything should happen we would have been together … ,” Redman said.

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