St Thomas Hospital staff help heart patient get married in chapel

News Desk (18 August, 2016)

John Abbott married his partner of 31 years Angela after cardiologists fitted a parachute device to support his heart


The help of a novel heart failure device and the goodwill of staff helped a heart patient marry his long-term partner in St Thomas’ Hospital chapel.

John Abbott, 64, from Brixton married his partner of 31 years Angela, 55, after cardiologists fitted a parachute device to support his heart, and ward staff who helped organise the last minute wedding on June 2.

After a heart attack eight years ago John has suffered from heart failure, and he has been a long term patient at the hospital.

Angela said: “Our wedding day was fantastic and only possible because of the skill, dedication and kindness of staff at the hospital.

“We’re very grateful to the doctors who did an amazing job which has extended John’s life enough for him to fulfil our wish to tie the knot.”

After John was taken into hospital earlier this year, the couple decided they wanted to get married.

As John isn’t able to leave the hospital, staff helped book the chapel and apply for a special licence to marry from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Angela said: “The Sister on John’s ward bought flowers for us while the heart failure nurse, Donna Abbott, loaned me a tiara, so that I had something borrowed.

“Everyone was so kind and staff even came along to our wedding ceremony so we had family, friends and hospital staff, it was wonderful.”

Heart failure clinical nurse specialist Charlotte Farron said: “We are delighted to have been able to facilitate one of John’s last wishes within our chapel at St Thomas’ Hospital.”

The parachute device is a type of stent which helps support the structure of the front side of John’s heart by partitioning the damaged muscle.


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