Joy and sadness as couple marry in ambulance so dying father can witness their wedding in Spain

The couple married in an ambulance. Credit: Ambulancia del Deseo

THERE was joy and sadness when a couple ended up getting married in an ambulance so the groom’s father’s dying wish could be fulfilled. 

Named only as Rafael, he was suffering a terminal illness and had not long to live. But before he passed away, he had just one desire – to be the ‘padrino’ (godfather) at his son’s wedding in Cartagena (Spain). 

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When his doctor in the palliative care unit of the Rosell Hospital, only named as Gemma, learned of his wish she got in touch with the Fundacion Ambulancia del Deseo (The Wish Ambulance Foundation) to see if they could help get the very frail man to the wedding. 

A spokesperson for Ambulancia del Deseo said: “We put together a team, we prepared the necessary material, and with the support of the family and the help of their medical team we organised the wish.” 

And the wedding day arrived. “We were all looking forward to it,” said the spokesperson, who added that Rafael asked to be dressed for the occasion and to have his favourite cologne brought to him. The man was happy to be fulfilling his dream, but a setback arose. 

His strength started to fail, and when the ambulance reached the venue he was too weak to enter, even on a stretcher. 

But the desire to fulfil Rafael’s last wish made everyone find a solution: if Rafael could not reach the bride and groom, the bride and groom would go to him. 

The judge responsible for officiating at the ceremony agreed to leave the courts and marry the bride and groom inside the ambulance. “It was a very emotional moment,” say the members of the Foundation who were present. 

Thus, Rafael was able to live that special moment with his family and fulfilled his last wish: to be the godfather at his son’s wedding. Unfortunately, a short time later, he passed away. 

“We thank all the Foundation team, the professionals of the Palliative Care Unit of the Hospital Santa María del Rosell in Cartagena and of course the family for allowing us to fulfil this wish,” said the spokesperson from Ambulancia del Deseo. 



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