UK Couple Wed in Uniquely Sublime and Heartbreaking Fashion


It was as unique and heartwrenching an 'I do' as you'll ever read about.

William & Emma

Earlier this week, writer Martin Fricker reported in the UK"s Mirror on the nuptials of William and Emma Kent, a couple in their 20s from the town of Derby. The couple met when they were kids and began to date in sixth form (the US equivalent is something akin to the last two years of high school). On graduating William attended Leeds Metropolitan University to pursue a degree in IT while Emma studied Illustration and became a graphic designer.

Along the way, William picked Valentine's Day one year to pop the question, Emma said yes. Their future was set; they even knew the names that they would give to their children.

Lymphoma diagnosis

Then last April, at the age of 25, William was diagnosed with lymphoma.

This past summer, the last treatment option for William failed. His doctors informed him that his condition was terminal and that he didn't have much time left. So he and his fiancée began putting together a wedding.

The Signal

From the reports, William's lymphoma had spread to his central nervous system and it was only a matter of time before it would immobilize him and make it virtually impossible to communicate. Confronted with a question few have ever been confronted with—how to say 'I do' so that the registrar and everyone else knows that you said it if you can't actually say it—the couple agreed on a way to do it.

So, on September 22, 2012 at 5:15 in the evening, in the groom's flower-bedecked hospital room at Nottingham City Hospital and in the presence of friends and family, William and Emma Kent got married.

William couldn't speak, nor even blink. It was something they feared would be the case, so William said 'I do' in the only way that he physically could do so, and in the manner by which they had previously agreed —he would say 'I do' by squeezing the hand of the marriage registrar.

On October 3, just eleven days later, William died.

The wedding of William and Emma Kent is as sublime as it is heartbreaking, as tragic as it is life-affirming.

In the wake of her husband's passing, Emma Kent has established a donation page benefiting the UK charity Leukemia and Lymphoma Research via

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