Bride forced to plan funeral instead of wedding after fiance dies in her arms
A bride-to-be went from planning a wedding to planning a funeral after her fiance died in her arms.
Phill Alcock, 53, secured a heart transplant after almost a decade of waiting but died two weeks ago, shortly after his long-awaited surgery.
His heartbroken fiancee Sarah Bramley cuddled him as he died in hospital when she and his family had to tell doctors they were ready for his life-support machines to be switched off.
Mr Alcock, from Holbrook, Derbyshire, had suffered five heart attacks and had twice been in a coma since he started showing symptoms in 2008, Derbyshire Live reported.
Miss Bramley and Mr Alcock met just four years ago at a gig and hit it off instantly – but it wasn’t until a year later that he plucked up the courage to ask her out.
Miss Bramley, 42, said: “Unfortunately he had a brain haemorrhage and he was in a coma for three weeks. They told the family that it was very unlikely he would make it through. It was very touch and go.
“His family were brilliant with me because he had spoken so much about me to them. I remember thinking that we hadn’t even been on our first date yet but I’m here with his mother and sister.”
Mr Alcock used to work as an IT director but was forced to give up his work because of his health.
He had an 18-year-old daughter with his first wife, but the marriage broke up in 2011.
Two weeks ago, on January 25, Mr Alcock finally got the call he had been waiting for – a consultant had found him a heart donor and he was due for surgery that day.
Miss Bramley said her fiance could hardly contain his excitement at the prospect of a healthier future.
She said: “We got down there and Phill was buzzing. There wasn’t a sign of nervousness or anything – it was infectious.
“There was no doubt that he would pull through this. This was his goal. This was where he wanted to be.
“When they eventually came to get him he was so excited that I had to grab him back and say ‘do I get a kiss or anything?’”
But the doctors struggled with the surgery and before too long Miss Bramley, Mr Alcock’s daughter and his mother were called back to the hospital.
Miss Bramley said: “They had a machine to do the work of a heart for him. They were doing everything for him.
“The consultant came in and advised us that the donor heart had stopped working. They said that when we were ready they would switch the last machine off.”
Miss Bramley and Mr Alcock’s family visited him before deciding to turn off the life-support equipment on January 26. Miss Bramley said she “couldn’t believe what was happening”.
She said: “In my head I wanted to stay there and see him go cold and go white to prove that it was happening.
“Fifteen minutes later his arms were still warm. All he ever said to me when we were together was that he didn’t want anyone else around – as long as it was just me and him.
“I did just say to him: ‘It’s just me now, baby. It’s just me and you. Just how you like it.’ And I just cuddled him, in my safe space.”
Miss Bramley and Mr Alcock’s family are raising money for a memorial bench the British Heart Foundation. Click here to donate.
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