Scots mum surprises terminally ill sister with heart-wrenching garden wedding because she won’t live to see big day

A Scots mum surprised her terminally ill sister with a wedding in her garden after doctors told her she wouldn’t live to see her big day.

Sandra Neilson and her family pitched in to give their sister Lorraine Cochrane the wedding day of her dreams after doctors told the 46-year-old she was dying.

Lorraine, of Falkirk, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January 2019 after doctors found a 14cm tumour on her ovaries.

After having a hysterectomy in March 2019 then months of gruelling chemotherapy Lorraine was given the all clear in September last year.



a person standing in front of a wedding cake: Lorraine is the picture of happiness on her wedding day


© Lorraine Cochrane
Lorraine is the picture of happiness on her wedding day

But following a routine scan in January this year the family were dealt a heartbreaking blow when doctors revealed the cancer had returned to Lorraine’s liver, bowel and peritoneum – and she had less than two years left to live.

Devastated Lorraine decided she wanted to realise one final long-held dream – to walk down the aisle and marry partner of nine-years, Stephen Cochrane.



a woman in a wedding dress: Lorraine and Stephen share a kiss


© Lorraine Cochrane
Lorraine and Stephen share a kiss

Not knowing how much time Lorraine had left, the couple hastily arranged their wedding in their local community centre for May this year – but the Covid-19 pandemic struck and Lorraine’s dreams were crushed once again.

However her family, led by sister Sandra Neilson, 41, decided Lorraine would get the big day of her dreams and Sandra hosted the surprise nuptials in her garden on September 11.



a man and a woman standing in front of a building: Lorraine and Stephen got married in her sister's garden


© Lorraine Cochrane
Lorraine and Stephen got married in her sister’s garden

Lorraine said: ” It was a very emotional day and one I didn’t think would ever happen because I’ve not got much time left.

“But it was the most amazing, perfect day. It was magical. It is incredible how generous everyone was. Everyone pulled together for me.

“When they told me I was terminal they said I had two years left. That was almost a year ago so after our original wedding was cancelled and with coronavirus restrictions and everything I just thought it would never happen.”



Bill Kirchenbauer in a suit holding a flower: The happy couple hastily arranged the wedding


© Lorraine Cochrane
The happy couple hastily arranged the wedding

But thanks to Lorraine’s incredible family including Sandra, other sisters Julie and Heather, nieces Caroline and Sarah-Jane, who all served as bridesmaids, the big day went off without a hitch.

Sandra said: “It rained all morning then at 2pm, when they were just about to get married the rain stopped and the sun came out and shone all day and night. It was perfect.

“We just decided to make it happen for them because we knew she was devastated at having to cancel the may wedding. She still had the dress and it was just a matter of finding somewhere to host it. My husband Colin had just done our garden up during lockdown so it was perfect.

“Friends, family and the community chipped in to donate flowers, photography, the cake, a buffet, everything. Even the registrar only took a donation. Everyone was

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Couple have wedding at hospice so terminally ill grandma can attend

The couple with Luke’s grandma (Picture: Luke Hinojosa / SWNS)

A couple who were due to have a traditional wedding decided to get married in a garden so the groom’s dying grandma could attend.

Luke Hinojosa, 24, and Abi Morgan, 27, tied the knot after organising it within a week so gran Vera Robertson could be there.

The couple had planned to marry in June but were forced to cancel their nuptials due to coronavirus lockdown rules.

They rearranged the wedding for next May but Luke was concerned his beloved nan might not live long enough.

Vera, 72, was diagnosed with myeloma cancer in 2017 and defied the odds after being given just 12 months to live.

She moved into St Barnabas Hospice in Lincoln where she has been cared for ever since.

Luke and Abi from Lincoln decided to hold a special wedding ceremony at the hospice to ensure Vera could watch them walk down the aisle.

In a touching gesture, Vera was also given the role of ringbearer for the happy couple.

Luke and Abi wed at the hospice garden so Vera could attend (Picture: Luke Hinojosa / SWNS)

Bricklayer Luke, who has been with Abi, a retail worker, since 2014, said: ‘Getting married in front of my nan really made my year.

‘She was delighted and loved every moment. We had hoped to have a big family wedding in June but obviously coronavirus stopped all of that.

‘We got a new date for next May but we didn’t want to risk nan not being there.’

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Luke and his mum decided to do something that would ensure Vera could attend.

‘It went from there, this crazy idea that we had three days to prepare for what was a wedding,’ added Luke.

‘It was absolutely fantastic. It’s been the best thing to come out of 2020 as a family.’

The staff at the hospice helped arrange the courtyard into a wedding venue.

They put balloons up and and sorted Vera’s bed so she would have the best spot at the wedding.

The happy couple (Picture: SWNS)

Luke continued: ‘It meant the absolute world to us and my nan wouldn’t stop saying how honoured she felt that we’d all thought of her.

‘We couldn’t stop smiling and just couldn’t be happier that she had a little ray of sunshine out of what has been a really awful year.

‘As a family, it brought us so much closer and made us realise not to take anything for granted.’

Due to the new coronavirus rules, just six people attended the ceremony before the hospice held a drinks reception outside.

Writing on their Facebook page, a spokesperson for the hospice said: ‘A hospice truly is so much more than “a place you go to die”.

‘Countless families have made lasting memories in our hospice, which is so humbling to see. We help people to live as best they can for the time they have left.’

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