A woman whose partner died the day before they were due to get married was left stunned after he sent her a gift from beyond the grave.
Danielle Cumberworth, 28, from Kent, was set to marry her fiancé Ashley Grant-Smith but sadly he lost his battle with cancer the day before their nuptials.
Ashley passed away while Danielle was at Leicester Register Office organising the paperwork for their big day.
‘I went into Leicester to get the paperwork sorted. I knew Ashley had had a rough night, but I had to go to get into town to get the go-ahead for the wedding the next day – October 10,’ Danielle explained to Leicestershire Live.
‘As soon as I stepped inside the register office, I got a call from Ashley’s dad. He told me to come back as soon as I could. I knew then that Ashley had died.
‘When I got back to this parents’ house he was just lying there. It was awful,’ she added.
Danielle Cumberworth added a new photo – with Ashley Grant-Smith.
Just weeks after her devastating loss, Danielle was shocked to receive a present from her late fiancé.
‘Two months after Ashley died, I got home from work and had missed a parcel being delivered. I went to the sorting office and picked it up,’ she recalled.
‘I opened it up in the car in the car park and it was an engagement ring from Ashley.
‘The ring had taken months to get to me because he had had it specially made to his own design. I will treasure it forever, and our wedding rings that were never used.’
Danielle and Ashley first met on holiday in Crete, and had been together for a year and a half when Ashley was diagnosed with cancer after suffering with a painful lump on his neck.
Ash, Today was the day we were going to get married, instead its the day we are registering your death. You were panicking the rings wouldnt get here in time but your be pleased to know they did! I…
‘Ashley was told it was cancer, but the doctors were not sure which type,’ explained Danielle.
‘After more tests, he was told in April 2016 that the lump was peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a rare blood cancer. As the months went by, the tumour on Ashley’s shoulder continued to grow. We nicknamed it Colin.
‘I joked, “There are three of us in this relationship and it’s too crowded – Colin must go”.’
During his battle, Ashley endured 18 chemotherapy sessions and also had extensive radiotherapy and took part in two medical trials.
In August last year, a donor was found through the Anthony Nolan Foundation to enable Ashley to have a stem cell transplant, which he’d been told was his last option.
Danielle Cumberworth added a new photo.
However, Ashley’s condition deteriorated before he could have the transplant and tests revealed that his cancer was terminal.
The pair decided to move back to Ashley’s parents house in Leicester and discussed getting married.
‘I asked him if he had any regrets in life and he said, “Not being able to marry you”,’ Danielle recalled.
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‘So we set about putting that right and we were both looking forward to the big day, but we never made it.
‘I am sad we didn’t get to say our wedding vows to each other, but I have the rings to keep.
‘We had a relatively short time together but it has given me so many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.’