Couple get married in last-minute ceremony after discovering son, 8, has weeks to live

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Henry Matthews and Hannah Cowlishaw with Ethan Martin, 8. [Photo: SWNS]

A couple brought forward their wedding ceremony after learning that their eight-year-old son had just four weeks to live.

Hannah Colishaw, 33, and Henry Matthews, 30, had planned their wedding for summer 2020.

Colishaw’s sons from a previous relationship, Brandon, 12, and Ethan, eight, and Jack, four, Colishaw’s son with Matthews, were all set to attend.

But unhappy circumstances forced the pair to bring their nuptials forward to this month.

The couple, from Stotfold, Hertfordshire, married on Wednesday this week after their son Ethan was diagnosed with a deadly tumour.

He had previously been treated for the same condition and given the all clear, but was told early last year it had returned and had spread to his spine. Last week, Ethan was told he had just four weeks to live.

READ MORE: Terminal cancer bride has 'beautiful' wedding day after getting arm amputated to extend her life

The couple hastily arranged a wedding for last Wednesday at St. Mary’s Church, Stotfold, so that Ethan would be present for the milestone and would be in their wedding pictures.

Eight year old Ethan at Church of St Mary in Stotfold Hertfordshire for his mum Hannah and partner Henry's wedding. [Photo: getty]
Eight year old Ethan Martin arrives at the church. [Photo: SWNS]

Ethan attended the ceremony in a wheelchair wearing a waistcoat and bow tie, with a Manchester United DC pillow tucked behind his head.

He was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016, being given the all-clear in January 2017.

In January 2018, the cancer returned, and had returned to his spine.

Ethan later had radiotherapy and an operation to remove 96 per cent of the cancer from his spine, but despite the medical intervention last week he and his family were told the cancer was terminal.

Mrs Matthews, who works as a part-time dinner lady, spoke of her “shock” after last week’s news.

She said: "We sort of knew anyway because [Ethan] was getting worse but it's still a shock.

"He deteriorated so quickly within three months. I think he knows."

Henry Matthews with Hannah Colishaw on their wedding day. [Photo: SWNS]
From left, Henry Matthews ,Jack Matthews, 4, Hannah Cowlishaw, Ethan Martin,8 and Brandon Martin, 12. [Photo: SWNS]

She has spoken of the community effort to pull the wedding together at last minute.

She said: "The whole community have come together and we've been inundated with offers from everyone. My work colleague has been incredible and organised so much.”

Her son, Ethan, has been “so excited” for the wedding,” she added.

"Ethan woke me up in the middle of [Tuesday] night saying 'you're getting married tomorrow!”

READ MORE: Cancer patient marries childhood sweetheart hours before death

Mr Matthews, a landscape gardener, said: "We were supposed to get married sometime in the summer next year, but after the news last Tuesday, we obviously had to bring it forward.

"We saw the vicar the day after the news at the hospital and he's been great. I think one of the hardest aspects to sort out was a wedding license but he managed to pull it off in just a week.”

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