Hayley McCarthy’s mum, Col, stayed with Mercy for five weeks in Feb 2021. Around the same time, Hayley decided to get married and wanted to include Col in the celebrations, but she was unsure if this would be a possibility due to Col’s levels of consciousness.

“…she’d barely eaten or woken in the days leading up, so we didn’t know if she’d make it to that day, let alone be awake and present!”

However, as soon as Mercy staff heard about Hayley’s plans, things started to happen.

“…staff were asking what we wanted to do, how they could help. One of the doctors helped us apply for an urgent marriage license, which got approved the same day! On the morning of the wedding, I visited Mum and one of the nurses had made a beautiful bouquet and the drinks trolley made a special trip to greet us in Mum’s room. I didn’t know anything about it, so I was blown away and in tears when she showed me a room that was beautifully decorated with ribbon and flowers! When I was getting my hair and makeup done, Kristina from the Fundraising team asked how they could make our day extra special. She let us use her office, kept the kids entertained, provided music for the ceremony – stuff I hadn’t even thought about! She set up food, the cake table, and so much more, and just kept popping in to help out.”

Then on the day itself, it all came together.

“…Mum was asleep at first but as soon as the music started, she woke up to see Dad walking me down the aisle. Mum was blowing kisses to us and afterwards she was ready to party! She was really excited about the cake. She ate, raised her glass for a toast, even had a little boogie in her bed. We all did a dance for Mum too…the bus stop, a dance she was well known for. She was the bus stop queen!”

I asked Hayley what it meant to be able to share this time with her Mum. She replied:

“…We were so fortunate to have our wedding at Mercy and have Mum present. She was there for 5 weeks so we had lots of time to get to know everyone. She loved the outdoor area. It always felt like we were on holiday in Santorini! It was really special to be able to have our wedding there with family and friends. For most, this was the last day they got to spend with Mum as we went into lockdown that night. We are so thankful. My Dad especially, was so grateful for everything Mercy did for Mum and for him.”

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