A couple who tied the knot in a hospital ceremony during lockdown plan to renew their vows – after the groom received a life saving heart transplant.
Stevie Cairns, 49, married Katie, 51, at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire on May 18, as he waited for a new heart.
Katie stood by her new husband’s bed in her wedding dress as a Humanist celebrant conducted the ceremony.
All three were kitted out in personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks and visors, to help stop the potential spread of Covid-19.
But on August 5, after an agonising seven month wait for a transplant in hospital, Stevie has now received a new heart – after keeping the major surgery a secret from Katie.
After three previous failed attempts to find him a new heart, Stevie, a business analyst, didn’t want to dash his new wife’s hopes if the transplant fell through.
But now the happy couple, from Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, are set to renew their vows at Celtic Park when die hard Hoops fan Stevie is discharged.
Katie, a family support worker, said: “We’d hoped to get married in the hotel next to the hospital but then the lockdown came.
“But after Stevie had two strokes we just decided to go ahead.
“We thought ‘why are we waiting’.
“We didn’t know what the future held for us.
“We got the go ahead on the Thursday and got married on the Monday.
“The wedding in the hospital had no family or friends as witnesses, just nurses.
“Once Stevie’s recovered we’ll renew our vows at Celtic Park so we can have everyone there, like family and friends, his best man and my bridesmaids.”
On January 23, Stevie became seriously ill and was hospitalised after flying home from a holiday in Lanzarote, Spain.
Stevie was rushed from Edinburgh Airport to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he was diagnosed with life threatening stage four heart failure.
On February 7, he was transferred to the Golden Jubilee and told he would have to stay there until a new heart could be found for him.
On his wedding day Stevie was told by medics they had found him a new heart – only to be later given the devastating news it was no good.
But he finally had the transplant on August 5.
Katie said: “We normally FaceTime twice a day.
“I tried in the morning then again at lunch but there was no answer.
“I got through to him around 8.30pm and he said he was having his dressings changed.
“Later on I called the ward and a nurse told me he was going in for surgery.
“I got a call from intensive care the next morning to tell me he was as well as could be expected – but it was early days.”
Katie was told it can take around four weeks for a person to be discharged following a heart transplant.
But Stevie, who has three children from a previous relationship, is hopeful of getting out as soon as the end of next week.
The couple, who have been together for ten years, will self-isolate together for two weeks as Stevie continues his recovery.
They hope to celebrate their big day with friends and family as soon as they can.
Katie said: “I have to say he’s exceeded everybody’s expectations.
“He’s getting better and is doing really well.
“We’ll have to shield for two weeks when he gets out so we’ll make plans for the big celebration.
“We just want a right good party with everybody.”