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Love conquers covid: UK couple wed in hospital

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"Do you want to get married in the hospital, it might be your only chance.''

Words no young couple should ever have to hear.

But for Elizabeth Kerr and her fiance Simon O'Brien it was the stark reality of their situation.

Both contracted Covid-19 in early January and days after their positive test, their oxygen levels dropped dangerously low.

They were rushed to Milton Keynes University Hospital in the same ambulance.

Then placed on separate wards full of COVID patients.

Kerr told medics she planned to tie-the-knot in June, but that was looking more unlikely, after O'Brien's health further deteriorated:

"The respiratory nurses came to see me on the ward and told me that Simon was going into intensive care and they couldn't delay it. And because we talked to them about, you know, that we're getting married, and we were..."

Hospital staff scrambled to make things possible for the young couple.

They secured a licence and Nurse Hannah Gannon acted as a witness, as well as documenting the event for their friends and family.

Moments after saying "I do", O'Brien was sedated and spent the night on mechanical ventilation.

With mortality rates now as high as 80 percent in Britain's ICUs, a happily ever after was far from certain.

But their love story provided some respite for exhausted medical staff:

"You know there have certainly been moments where you question, you know, do we stay within nursing? Is this the correct thing to do? But then you experience something like the wedding and absolutely."

Simon is now out of ICU and has been reunited with Elizabeth on a covid ward.

Both are still receiving oxygen but things are looking up.

Elizabeth says the terrifying experience of fighting for every breath has made them realise what really matters:

Spending time with the people you love.

Video Transcript

ELIZABETH KERR: They were sort of saying to us, well, do you want to get married in the hospital? This might be your only chance.

- Words no young couple should ever have to hear. But for Elizabeth Kerr and her fiance Simon O'Brien, it was a stark reality of their situation. Both contracted COVID-19 in early January. And days after their positive tests, their oxygen levels dropped dangerously low.

They were rushed to Milton Keynes University Hospital in the same ambulance, then placed on separate wards full of COVID patients. Elizabeth told the medics treating her that she planned to tie the knot in June, but that was looking more unlikely after Simon's health further deteriorated.

ELIZABETH KERR: The respiratory nurse came to see me on the other ward and told me that Simon was going into intensive care. They couldn't delay it. And because we talk to them about, you know, that we're getting married, and we were. And--

- Hospital staff scrambled to make things possible for the young couple. They secured a license and Nurse Hannah Gannon acted as a witness, as well as documenting the event for their friends and family. Moments after saying I do, Simon was sedated and spent the night on mechanical ventilation. With mortality rates now as high as 80% in Britain ICUs, a happily ever after was far from certain. But their love story provided some respite for exhausted medical staff.

- You know, there certainly been moments where you questions you know, do we stay within nursing? Is this the correct thing to do? But then you experience something like the wedding, and you think, absolutely.

- Simon is now out of ICU and has been reunited with Elizabeth on a COVID ward. Both are still receiving oxygen, but things are looking up. Elizabeth says the terrifying experience of fighting for every breath has made them realize what really matters-- spending time with the people you love.