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Wedding on the ward! Cancer patient marries partner of 42 years at Royal Free

Secret to happy relationship is not to go to bed on an argument, say devoted couple

30 November, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Mr and Mrs: Margaret and David Kavannah with sister Hannah Metcalfe

A CANCER patient who has been in the Royal Free for nine months has married his partner of 42 years in hospital.

David Kavannah, 74, and Margaret Emberton, 75, who live in Cricklewood, took their vows last week in front of a registrar on ward 8E surrounded by family and staff. Nurses on the ward had helped David get ready for the ceremony – measuring him up for his suit and decorating the hospital room that played host to the big day.

The couple had been planning a wedding before David was diagnosed with kidney cancer in March.

Margaret, who has spent every afternoon at the hospital, said: “We had applied for a licence and were planning our wedding but then David became ill and has been an in-patient at the Royal Free Hospital since March.  David has been very ill including several bouts of pneumonia but he’s really turned the corner now and the next stage will be leaving the hospital and going into rehabilitation. All the staff looking after him here have been absolutely wonderful.”

The couple met when Margaret was working as a cleaner and David was training to be a London taxi driver while polishing floors.

The hospital said that David’s recovery from kidney cancer has been slow and that had been in intensive care for five months between March and August. He is receiving physiotherapy as he is still unable to walk unaided but is expected to be discharged in time for Christmas.

David said the secret to his and Margaret’s long and happy relationship was not to go to bed on an argument and have the occasional night out together.

Hannah Metcalfe, ward sister, said: “We’ve loved helping David and Margaret plan their wedding here. We lent a hand with the paperwork involved to get a registrar, helped measure David for his suit and staff also enjoyed decorating the room and hearing about their plans. They are a lovely couple and are devoted to each other.”

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