Retired Cambridgeshire publican Derick Andrews, 84, makes it to son’s wedding thanks to kind-hearted ambulance crew and hospice staff

PUBLISHED: 16:33 11 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 11 June 2018

Derick Andrews was taken to his son's wedding by special request

Derick Andrews was taken to his son's wedding by special request


An 84-year-old man who told an ambulance crew how upset he was that he would miss his son’s wedding the next day was transported there as a special request by kind-hearted staff.

Derick Andrews was taken to his son's wedding by special requestDerick Andrews was taken to his son's wedding by special request

Derick Andrews was transferred from Addenbrookes’ Hospital to Arthur Rank Hospice - yet his son Simon Andrews and fiancé Tanya were to be married at Cambridge Registry Office at Shire Hall the next day.

On hearing his story, the ambulance crew - Pete Amies and Ali Amps - managed their Friday shift on the day of the wedding, to come back to the Hospice between their daily duties.

They put in a special request to their line manager and luckily a non-emergency patient transport vehicle was available to take Mr Andrews to the wedding.

The Inpatient Unit at the Cambridgeshire hospice carefully planned how the specialist care he needed could still be provided with specialist palliative doctor, Dr Jenny Huguet, agreeing to accompany him.

Derick Andrews was taken to his son's wedding by special requestDerick Andrews was taken to his son's wedding by special request

Back in his room at the hospice in Shelford Bottom, Cambridge, Derick said: “We were in the ambulance and telling them that my son was getting married the next day and that we weren’t going and they said, ‘We’ll make sure you go’. Then, when we got here, the hospice said that they’d help too.

“I thought it was marvellous that they took us in the ambulance to Shire Hall where he got married and then back here up to the hospice. Dr Jenny came in on her day off so we could go, which was lovely. My son’s wife, Tanya, burst into tears as they weren’t expecting us to be there.

“I would like to say thank you to this place, and the ambulance crew and everyone who made it possible for me to get to my son’s wedding and to my wife for the great love that we’ve had.

“I hope my boys have the same good life that I have had.”

As an evacuee of the Second World War at the age of five, Derick was taken in by a family in Swaffham Bulbeck when he was little and never saw his birth-family again.

He met his wife, Margaret – who had also been evacuated from London - when he was 22 and she was 17, on the dodgems at Bottisham Fair.

The couple celebrated their own 60th Wedding Anniversary on March 22.

After being posted as a sergeant in the army in Egypt, Derick and Margaret later managed a run of local pubs across several decades including The Sun in Waterbeach, The Hole in the Wall in Little Wilbraham, The Crown at Girton and finally The Exhibition in Over.

Matron at the Inpatient Unit, Carly Love, said: “We were so pleased that we were able to help Mr Andrews get to his son’s wedding. It was really special that morning, seeing him - together with Dr Jenny, Pete and Ali head off to Shire Hall, complete with button holes. When they got back, although he was tired, it was clear how thrilled he was to have been there.”

Liz McEwan, head of urgent and scheduled care at The East of England Ambulance Service Trust, said: “We have some amazing people who work for us. This is a great example of crews going above and beyond to genuinely care for the patient, treating him with dignity and respect. A lovely example of how a small gesture can go a long way.”


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