Groom left heartbroken after planning childhood sweetheart’s funeral five days after their wedding

Groom left heartbroken after planning childhood sweetheart’s funeral five days after their wedding

A groom has been left heartbroken after having to plan his childhood sweetheart’s funeral just five days after their wedding.

Dave McLoughlin, 35, of Tipperary, Ireland, married his long-term partner Michelle Crowe, 33, in the University of Hospital Limerick, Ireland, on March 20.

The father-of-two says the ceremony – which took place in the hospital chapel – was ‘amazing’ as his wife found the strength to walk down the aisle.

Following the ceremony, the couple were given non-alcoholic wine and the hospital staff kindly decorated Michelle’s room in LED lights.

The grieving father said: ‘I want to thank the nurses and staff. It’s not how we pictured our wedding night, but they made it just as special.’

Dave McLoughlin and Michelle Crowe, pictured here on their wedding day a month ago in the hospital chapel

Dave McLoughlin and Michelle Crowe, pictured here on their wedding day a month ago in the hospital chapel

Tragically, Michelle passed away less than a week later – leaving behind her new husband and their children Cillian, 13, and one-year-old Oisin.

The pair met in Tipperary in June 2004 when they were only teenagers and became ‘welded to each other’.

In May 2016, Dave proposed to Michelle and the couple slowly began making plans to tie the knot.

However, their lives were turned upside down in September 2022 when Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer – months after welcoming their youngest child.

Just a few years before, Dave lost his mum, Noreen, 72, to lung cancer and Michelle’s parents, John and Nora Crowe, 57, had recently passed away too,

Following her diagnosis, Michelle was told she had an 8cm tumor left breast and needed chemotherapy.

After that course of action failed, the mother-of-two underwent a mastectomy on February 14, 2023.

David said: ‘The surgery went well. We got told – plan away for your summer.’

Michelle, pictured with her two children, Cillian, 13, Oisin, 14-months-old.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer when her youngest was seven months old

Michelle, pictured with her two children, Cillian, 13, Oisin, 14-months-old. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when her youngest was seven months old

The family's world was turned upside down when Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2022 .

The family’s world was turned upside down when Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2022 .

But a few weeks later Michelle started to complain of a pain in her stomach – which led doctors to discover her cancer had spread to her liver.

Dave said: ‘I remember walking in and she looked stone cold dead and ashy.

‘It came back with a vengeance. I was falling apart.

‘Michelle was still trying to be upbeat. We both knew what this meant but we didn’t want to talk about it.

‘We never really needed to have a final conversation. We were so in sync.’

While Michelle was receiving treatment at the University of Limerick Hospital, a nurse for the couple if they wanted to go ahead and hold a wedding ceremony there.

He recalled: ‘She said we could get married on the ward.’

Dave said the ceremony, which took place in the chapel, was ‘amazing’.

They played their favorite songs, such as ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ by WHO.

Dave - who met Michelle when they were just 16 and 17 - is now raising their two children, Cillian, 13, Oisin, 14-months-old, alone (pictured with their mother)

Dave – who met Michelle when they were just 16 and 17 – is now raising their two children, Cillian, 13, Oisin, 14-months-old, alone (pictured with their mother)

Michelle was determined to walk down the aisle, despite being seriously ill with breast cancer which tragically spread

Michelle was determined to walk down the aisle, despite being seriously ill with breast cancer which tragically spread

.The family wedding photo: Dave planned a wedding and funeral in the space of a week after losing his childhood sweetheart just five days after tying the knot

.The family wedding photo: Dave planned a wedding and funeral in the space of a week after losing his childhood sweetheart just five days after tying the knot

Dave said: ‘She made it her mission to walk down the aisle.

‘She looked absolutely gorgeous.’

The staff hung LED lights around Michelle’s hospital room and left them non-alcoholic wine.

The next day doctors told the couple there wasn’t much else they could do, and Michelle slipped away in the early hours of Saturday 25, March.

Dave said: ‘We sat around her bed and cracked open a bottle of gin. It’s what she would have wanted.’

Michelle pictured with her eldest son.  Dave, a dad-of-two, from Tipperary, Ireland, said: "Everyone who met her fell in love with her.

Michelle pictured with her eldest son. Dave, a dad-of-two, from Tipperary, Ireland, said: “Everybody who met her fell in love with her.

Dave McLoughlin, 35, wed his partner of almost 19 years, Michelle Crowe, 33, at the chapel of University of Hospital Limerick, Ireland, on March 20, 2023 - before she lost her battle with breast cancer on March 25

Dave McLoughlin, 35, wed his partner of almost 19 years, Michelle Crowe, 33, at the chapel of University of Hospital Limerick, Ireland, on March 20, 2023 – before she lost her battle with breast cancer on March 25

The family held a wake for Michelle the following Monday and said the church was ‘packed’.

Many villagers also wore pink – the color of the breast cancer campaign – while some dyed their hair or shaved their heads.

Dave said: ‘It is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen. Her favorite thing to do was sit in the garden at the fire pit and sit out and listen to songs into the early hours.

‘I’ve not listened to a song since. She loved music and our kids more than anything.

‘She put everybody ahead of herself. I’ll never look at anyone in the same way.’

Dave, who is now raising their two children alone, says he still puts his hand out for Michelle to hold in the car and still calls up to ask her for a cup of coffee – forgetting she’s gone.

He added: ‘The pain gets worse and worse. Everyone who met her fell in love with her.

‘She’s really small but really tough and unassuming. It doesn’t matter how many times he gets knocked down, he gets back up.

‘She was the happiest person you’ve ever met. She was one-in-a-million.’

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