A few months into our friendship, Marc confided in me that he was living with a condition called Common Variable Immunodeficiency (Picture: Cliodhna Cosgrove)

When I agreed to marry Marc Amos, I imagined a big white wedding and exchanging our vows in front of our friends and family.

Little did I know that less than two years later, my handsome fiancé would be dead and I’d be slipping a wedding ring onto his finger at his wake. 

I met Marc through a group of mates in 2018 and soon warmed to his sensitive, caring nature. One of the first secrets he shared with me was how he wanted to be a dad one day. He’d never known his own father.

A few months into our friendship, Marc confided in me that he was living with a condition called Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID), which had damaged his lungs.

He expected me to run a mile, but it didn’t put me off at all. In March 2019, I became his girlfriend.

Me and Marc couldn’t wait to start a family (Picture: Cliodhna Cosgrove)

He’d been supporting me after my nanny Geraldine passed away. He drove me home from the funeral, bought sushi and tissues, and stayed for three days. So when we shared a gentle kiss, it felt like a natural progression.

And in November 2019, at a family dinner for my 27th birthday, he got down on one knee after I’d blown out my candles. It turned out he’d had the ring hidden under the front seat of his car for weeks.

Me and Marc couldn’t wait to start a family. We talked about it all the time and dreamed of three kids, boys or girls, we didn’t mind. We’d picked out names for both.

Marc worried his condition might affect his fertility so we decided to start trying. Within weeks, he spotted that I looked different.

‘I don’t know what it is… but you’re glowing today,’ he said as he picked me up from work.

I’m making arrangements to officially take Marc’s surname (Picture: Cliodhna Cosgrove)

When I showed him my positive pregnancy test, he was so excited he had to run to the toilet!

He was with me every step of the way, huffing and puffing through the breathing exercises at anti-natal classes and pregnancy yoga.

Our daughter Darcie was born on 18 February 2021, and from the very first moment he laid eyes on her, she was Marc’s whole world.

But that same month, he caught a chest infection, which turned into pneumonia. In hospital he was told he’d developed a rare lung disorder called Granulomatous Lymphocytic Interstitial Lung Disease (GLILDE).

He was discharged with portable oxygen tanks and a tube running into his nose.

I always tried to stay strong for Marc (Picture: Cliodhna Cosgrove)

It was a shock to see him looking so frail. I’d always known his condition was for life, but we’d both assumed he had years ahead of him – enough time to be a daddy.

At Darcie’s Christening, on 6 June, Marc slipped the breathing tube to one side for family photos. But the following week I had to dial 999 after he woke in the early hours unable to breathe.

Ten days later, his specialists ushered us into a side room. They told us that Marc had severely damaged lungs and fluid building around his heart. He was being referred for palliative care. There was nothing more they could do. Marc was just 25.

It was devastating, I started crying right there and then. I always tried to stay strong for Marc, but at that moment I couldn’t hold it in. We looked at each other and we lost all hope. It was terrifying – Marc was so frightened of dying and I was so scared of losing him. 

We moved into his mum’s house and set up a hospital bed in the living room. By this time he was rail thin – fading away in front of my eyes.

The one thing we really wanted was to get married (Picture: Cliodhna Cosgrove)

As Marc grew sicker, we made a bucket list together, which included having one of his tattoos finished. He’d had a clock inked onto his right calf and needed Darcie’s time of birth to be filled in.

He made tons of videos on my phone to show her after he’d gone, and had a recording of his voice saying ‘hello pretty lady’ and ‘where’s Daddy’s baby?’ fitted into a Build-a-Bear.

Marc was suffering from heart failure, but still he battled on. The one thing we really wanted was to get married – we’d had matching silver rings made – but Marc was just too poorly.

On the morning of 20 September 2021 – days after his 26th birthday – we could sense the end was near. Marc agreed to be admitted to the local hospice for pain management.

Even as we made the journey, he was singing one of our favourite songs to me… Ev’ry Time I Say Goodbye by Ella Fitzgerald. 

The most important thing now is keeping Marc’s memory alive (Picture: Cliodhna Cosgrove)

My kind and brave fiancé died just three hours later, with me and his mum holding his hands. 

As we made arrangements for his wake, I remembered his wish to have his tattoo completed. The funeral director allowed me and his cousin to fill it in ourselves with a Sharpie pen. I knew it would’ve made him smile.

And on the first night of his wake I had one more important thing to do.

We’d never got chance to be married, so I asked the priest to perform a blessing ceremony with the wedding rings we’d chosen. As we slipped one of the rings onto Marc’s finger and the other onto mine, I promised to love him forever.

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Three days later, he was cremated and I tucked his ring alongside his ashes in a family vault.

Now I’m wearing my wedding ring proudly and I’m making arrangements to officially take Marc’s surname. He might be gone but I still think of myself as his wife.

The most important thing now is keeping Marc’s memory alive. I show Darcie his videos and talk about him all the time, telling her Daddy is watching over her from heaven.

Cliodhna and Marc’s family are currently asking for donations to charity Immuno Deficiency UK in his memory. To support them, visit the Immuno Deficiency UK website here.

As told to Jade Beecroft

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