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Lorraine’s final wedding wish granted for daughter

4 July 2024

All Lorraine Firmstone wanted was to see her daughter marry the love of her life.  

When Lorraine, 72 from Yardley, came into Birmingham Hospice’s Inpatient Unit she never believed a few weeks later she would see her daughter Karen marry her partner Liam in the very same building.  

Karen and Liam wanted to bring their wedding date forward to ensure Lorraine could be a part of the big day.  

Lorraine was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago which later spread to her bones and her kidneys. She has since also been diagnosed with heart disease, angina, COPD and tremors.  

Despite her terminal diagnosis, Lorraine was determined to see Karen marry Liam in the ceremony held in the hospice’s Living Well Centre, arranged by staff.  

“It was the best day of my life,” Lorraine said. “I appreciated everything they did for us and we never expected it.  

“It was such a perfect day for them, I’m still thinking about it now.  

“Whatever happens to me now I have seen my daughter get married which I always wanted.”  

When she was first asked about going into the hospice, Lorraine admits she was scared at first.  

She said: “But once I was here, I realised how marvellous it is and how kind and generous everyone is.”  

Lorraine’s room on the ward is decorated with various Elvis Presley memorabilia including blankets, pillows, posters, photos and even a life-size cutout of the King himself.  

She explained: “It means so much to me to have all my Elvis stuff here. I feel like I’m at home.  

“My dogs can even come and visit. Coming here has really lifted my spirits.” 

Emma Hewitt, 46, is Lorraine’s sister. She visits the hospice most days to be with her older sister.  

She said: “You can see the huge difference in care here compared to other providers we’ve experienced.  

“Every single person here is so kind, there isn’t more they could do for you. Everyone who helped organise the blessing are incredible.  

“I was told by people that it would probably be very sad having Lorraine go into a hospice and that we would be crying a lot.  

“There have been tears, but there has been more laughter. We laugh so much.”  

Thank you to Lorraine for sharing her story with us and helping to raise awareness of hospice care.