A father fighting terminal liver cancer was determined to escort his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, despite having been bedridden for a year.
65-year-old Pedro Villarin from the Philippines was not strong enough to escort daughter Charlotte to the altar in a wheelchair. However, he was able to accompany her using an ambulance stretcher.
The family arranged for Pedro to be taken to the Las Pinas based ceremony in an ambulance, with assistance provided by a private nurse. Relatives and wedding guests then helped pull the stretcher along as proud Pedro held Charlotte’s hand.
It was a beautiful moment, despite the heartbreaking circumstances. Sadly, Pedro died just a few days after fulfilling his final wish.
New bride Charlotte later spoke about her brave father’s sacrifices on her poignant wedding day:
That wedding was really for him because he wanted to walk with me to the altar and witness my wedding since according to him I was his favorite daughter.
Charlotte had worried her dad would be unable to attend the wedding, due to recently being admitted to hospital after suffering severe pain.
The grieving daughter explained:
We were going back and forth in the hospital beforehand,
We hired an ambulance and a private nurse. We thought he would be able to
sit on a wheelchair, but he couldn’t take it and used the stretcher from the
But he really sacrificed because he felt pain in that moment. And we thank
God for allowing that to happen.
Charlotte later shared a picture of her giving her beloved father a kiss during the wedding, with the caption, ‘Papu, I love you so much’.
Sharing images of the bittersweet ceremony, Charlotte also wrote about the wide range of emotions she experienced on her wedding day:
This photo speaks not just a thousand words, but a thousand emotions as well. This is not your ordinary wedding, not a fairytale-like and not as happy as it should be. But for us, we know that we gave it all to give the best wedding we can give not only for ourselves but for our parents, and most especially for my PAPU.
Thank you to all my family and friends who showed love not just to me and to Maku yesterday, but most especially to my PAPU. You made his dream come true. Your presence made him feel loved and you made him the happiest man yesterday.
As I always say, this wedding is not just for me and for Maku. This wedding is mostly for my PAPU. He’s been waiting for this moment, and finally we made it.
The wedding video and photographs were widely shared on social media, with many people moved to tears at the sight of the devoted father showing incredible inner strength despite his pain.
One person commented:
This is so touching. My heart melted. I feel so blessed just by looking at this photo. May God bless your marriage abundantly, Love. And to your family, I am praying for you.
My heart is touched. I cried a river by just looking at this. You’re blessed, Love.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Pedro Villarin at this difficult time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.