Chatteris firefighter and his bride hope tomorrow's wedding will see guests donate to hospital charity
A Chatteris couple set to tie the knot tomorrow (Friday) are hoping guests will dig deep for a charity close to their hearts.
Town volunteer firefighter Rocky Hunter and his partner Stephanie Fuller-Annis have asked those attending their wedding to forget about the usual toasters and saucepans and instead donate to the hospital that has already given them the best gift of all - their son JD.
From the moment medics saw JD on the screen of a routine scan their advice to Rocky and Stephanie was to consider termination after a growth was spotted on the tiny being.
Stephanie said: "We were so excited to see our baby for the first time at the 12 weeks scan and everything seemed to be going so well, the heartbeat was good, the measurements were good, and then we were told there was a mass.
"Another scan, more detailed and with a specialist, confirmed the worst our baby's organs and bowel were on the outside of the body. We were told to go away and consider what we wanted to do.
"It was the worst time, but as a mother I was stubborn and was determined to give our baby the best chance so we were backwards and forwards to Addenbrooke's, with each visit ending with the same unpromising results. We had over 30 scans, plus other tests - each one seemed to throw up more problems.
"But each time I refused to give up on our little fighter, and then suddenly our specialist suggested there might be hope and that was enough for us.
"Initially we planned for a caesarean because the risk of a normal birth could cause a rupture and kill the baby, but then I was told we could try for a natural birth as some of the organs had gone back in, but I needed to be induced because there needed to be a specialist team present.
"There were 15 people in the room when JD entered the world - he was immediately rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit and it was seven hours later before I got to see him.
"He looked so big alongside the other babies, as he weighed a healthy 8lbs 8ozs, but he needed surgery and the next day he had an operation to replace his organs. Fortunately they were not too damaged - although they were worried about his spleen because stitching it could cause his body to reject it leaving him needing antibiotics for the rest of his life.
"So they pushed it back in and hoped it would be OK."
Three years later, and lots of hospital stays, JD is doing well and now has a baby brother Link.
He still has to have numerous medical appointments including physio and he has a weakened immune system but Stephanie and Rocky are eternally grateful to Addenbrooke's.
So that is why they hope those attending their wedding at Minstral Court in Royston will make a donation instead of a conventional gift.
They have a Justgiving page: Rocky and Stephanie Wedding.