30 August 2023
A man has praised the ‘absolutely wonderful’ staff at Barnet Hospital after they helped organise a last-minute wedding for him and his terminally-ill partner.
Patrick Cave – known as ‘Patch’ - said staff on the hospital’s Quince Ward should be “very proud of themselves”, not only for the exemplary care they provided, but also for helping him and Caroline Addams – known as ‘Liney’ - organise a wedding at short notice to celebrate their love.
Liney sadly died from breast cancer the day after the couple wed. She was just 42 years old.
Patch, 38, a lighting expert, said: “The staff were absolutely wonderful and should be very proud of themselves. From the nurses who cared for Liney, produced decorations and went out and bought a bouquet, to Father Tom Baron, the chaplain, who conducted the ceremony. Although there wasn’t a dry eye in the room for me it didn’t feel sad or bittersweet. I just felt happy, it felt good that we could all share these moments together.”
The couple, who had been friends since 2015, began dating in 2017 and moved in together in 2019, living in New Barnet. They enjoyed a brilliant social life, going to gigs, parties, clubbing and events and going on holidays. Liney worked at Speedwell Court in Barnet, looking after adults with autism.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2022 and after her initial treatment and surgery, was more determined than ever to help others. She joined Macmillan as a supporter care advisor continuing to make a difference and impacting on many people’s lives. In addition, through her blog and Instagram posts, she cheered and supported other women in similar situations, and she founded an online peer-support group for women living with breast cancer to share their experiences.
Marriage had not been something Patch and Liney had previously considered.
Patch explained: “We were happy as we were but when you realise what you are going to lose someone it puts a different perspective on things. For me it was important to make that one last gesture and everyone on the ward helped us to achieve that goal. The marriage licence didn’t arrive until 7.30pm but even staff who were due to go home stayed late to give us that special moment.”
Kathleen Riley, ward manager for Quince ward, said: “It was amazing seeing our staff go the extra mile to make this wedding happen and get to celebrate with Liney, her parents – Janet and Paul - and Patch. It was a beautiful ceremony and I know that it was something my team will never forget.”
Main picture: L-R: Janet, Paul, Liney, Patch and Father Tom Baron
Picture above: Liney and Patch with nursing and healthcare staff