Terminally-ill mum, 46, dies days after marrying partner of 27 years in hospital

A mum-of-one married her partner of 27 years two weeks before she died after she admitted her biggest regret was not becoming his wife.

Sarah Obanya, 46, wedded 53-year-old Chuks, five days after doctors after she found out her ovarian cancer was terminal.

The market trader was first diagnosed in April 2019 after suffering with a bad back which she put down to menopause symptoms, but after a hysterectomy in October she was given the all clear.

However in January the couple, from Lewisham, south east London, were devastated when doctors revealed the cancer had returned and spread through Sarah's body including into her lungs and bowel.

When Sarah revealed her biggest regret was not marrying Chuks, friends scrambled to organise a bucket list wedding ceremony conducted at Guy's Hospital in London.


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Air conditioning fitter Chuks, said: “Sarah was crying when they told us.

“We were both just in shock. I still don’t believe it, I just don’t understand.

“She was healthy, we thought the cancer had just knocked a few years off her life and maybe she wouldn’t live until 85 but she was supposed to have longer than two weeks.

“We met 27 years ago and we haven’t been apart since.


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"The wedding day was the second best day of my life, because the best day of my life was when I met her.

“I always wanted to get married so it was a regret that we hadn't gotten round to it. Now, I’ll never take the ring off.

“The hospital were fantastic throughout the whole thing, there was nothing they couldn’t do for us. Sarah loved it."

Soulmates Chuks and Sarah met in a pub in London aged 25 and 18, quickly becoming an item, and went on to have one son, Ethan, now 22.

The couple started a diary when they met where they kept keepsakes and photographs and used to write notes to each other.

Sarah had originally been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in April last year after complaining of backache, bloating and shortness of breath which she thought was due to the menopause, but was given the all clear after eight rounds of chemotherapy and a hysterectomy.

Despite previously being told she the cancer was in remission, Sarah had gone back to hospital after suffering breathlessness while swimming, which doctors discovered was due to her lungs being full of fluid.

She and Chuks had both dreamed of getting married one day but had never had the chance and when Sarah was asked after her diagnosis what her biggest regret was, she admitted it was never marrying her teenage sweetheart.

So the couple's pals and family quickly arranged for donated decorations, a cake, photographer and makeup artist for the last-minute nuptials while dresses were donated following a Facebook appeal.

Sarah’s childhood friend, Lizzie Cooper, 44, organised the ceremony for the couple and has written a book dedicated to Sarah about their friendship, Unfiltered.

The cafe owner said: “She told me that when she was told the cancer was terminal, a porter walked past and rudely asked what her biggest regret was and she said not getting married.

"That was the start of it – I put a post on Facebook and people were so kind, they were rushing to help.


"They were so generous, they were donating dresses, cakes and volunteering to do make up.

"The legalities were the tricky part, we had loads of people wanting to do the service but we needed to find somewhere licensed, so we ended up doing it in the hospital.

"It was such an emotional day. It was beautiful, absolutely perfect."

Sarah passed away at home on Feb 6 and now Lizzie has started a fundraising page to help the family with funeral costs, which has already raised over £6,000.

Dad-of-one Chuks said: “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you what she was like. You had to meet her.

“She was wonderful, a lady, sincere, her moral compass was firm.

"She was beautiful and there wasn’t a bad bone in her body.

“Why Sarah, she was so kind. What am I supposed to do now?"

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