‘I didn’t want her to leave on her own’: ailing Chinese bride dies moments before wedding

A young bride succumbs to leukaemia moments before she was meant to wed her boyfriend in a bedside ceremony at a Henan hospital

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 2:59pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 3:47pm

A hospital bedside wedding was abruptly called off in central China when the bride, a 32-year-old Henan woman, succumbed to leukaemia minutes before fulfilling her dream of marrying her boyfriend.

The couple had made preparations to wed at Henan Cancer Hospital on a recent Sunday after the bride’s chronic condition became critical earlier this month.

On the day, a crowd of guests and reporters gathered in the hospital ward. A gauzy wedding dress hung from a hanger near an IV machine, and the hospital bed of the bride, identified only as Xiao Hui, was decorated with palm fronds and flowers, pictures show.

In another room, the bridegroom, Yang Feng, 27, donned a black suit and a checked navy bow tie. A companion pinned a corsage to his lapel. Video recordings show Yang clutching the ring box in anticipation, as he waited in the hallway for the go-ahead.

But it never came.

At 4.30pm, as friends and hospital staff were making the final preparations for the ceremony, Xiao Hui’s condition became critical, according to Xinhua.

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Doctors and nurses rushed to her bedside, but were unable to stabilise her. At 5.10pm Yang appeared to announce that the ceremony was off. He returned to Xiao Hui’s bedside and slipped the ring on her finger.

Moments later Xiao Hui passed away.

“I didn’t want her to leave alone,” Yang told reporters. “There’s no marriage license, but she’s my soulmate.”

Their story has been hailed in social media as a touchstone of true love. The couple began dating two years ago, when Xiao Hui, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at age 24, was in a more stable condition.

Delivery man Yang was contributing three to four thousand of his 5,000 yuan (US$727) monthly salary towards his girlfriend’s medical bills, according to the Xinhua report.

It was not until August 10 that Xiao Hui’s condition suddenly worsened, and the couple decided to wed in the hospital.

A local wedding shop heard the story and donated the flowers, dress and photographers.

Funeral services have already been held for Xiao Hui.

Yang commissioned her tombstone to read: “You can leave me, but you will always be part of my life.”