Brian and Gillian Murphy got married yesterday (Image: Jamie Agnew Photography / SWNS)
Get our daily coronavirus email newsletter with all the news you need to know direct to your inbox
Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Your information will be used in accordance with ourPrivacy Notice.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice
A terminally-ill man has finally married his partner after they were kept apart during the first coronavirus lockdown.
Brian, who has motor neurone disease, and Gillian Murphy met at the cardiology unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow three years ago and tied the knot yesterday.
Brian, 48, was given the devastating diagnosis six months after starting to date Gillian, 49, and was worried their relationship would have to end, the Daily Record reports.
But the specialist nurse in cardiology remained by Brian's side, supporting him through the years and this week they got married.
During the first coronavirus lockdown, Gillian felt it was unsafe to see her partner as she works in a hospital, so they spent months apart.
Gillian, who lives in Houston, Renfrewshire, said they only saw each other briefly to drop food and supplies.
She added: “It was so hard not being together when you don’t know how much time you have."
Gillian remained by Brian's side following the devastating diagnosis
(Image: MND Scotland / SWNS)
In November 2020 Brian, who lives in Anniesland, Glasgow, proposed over a candlelit meal.
Gillian said: “I honestly had no idea he was going to propose. I was so shocked it took me a few minutes to say anything – I think he thought for a second I was going to say no.
“Working together for years I have seen Brian in emergency situations, literally life and death, and he has always been as cool as cucumber, but he was visibly sweating and anxious when he asked.”
The couple, who have two children each from previous relationships, wanted to wait until they were able to have more than two witnesses at their wedding.
The couple met three years ago
(Image: MND Scotland / SWNS)
They said "I do" at a hotel in Glasgow, and Gillian was walked down the aisle by sons Sean, 20, and Scott, 17, while Brian’s daughter Catherine, 14, was a bridesmaid and his son Jack, 20, was best man.
Brian said: “Spending time with the people you love is what matters. It enriches your life.
“I live alone and spending seven weeks shielding by myself at the start of the pandemic was horrendous.
"It came to the stage where I thought, ‘I have a terminal illness. I don’t know how much time I’ve got and I’m not spending it alone.’”
He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in February 2019 after first developing a limp.
Brian and Gillian married at a hotel in Glasgow
(Image: Jamie Agnew Photography / SWNS)
Brian added: “When I was told I had MND I had not long begun my relationship with Gillian and was supposed to be starting a new chapter in my life.
"Then to be given that diagnosis was heartbreaking. I was utterly devastated. I knew what it meant.
“There’s no hope of treatment, of stalling it or getting any better. So, you have to cope with thinking about that, on top of the physical deterioration.
“I thought Gillian and I couldn’t continue our relationship, but she’s stayed with me and has been an amazing support.
Grieving families' fury as blame dodger Matt Hancock claims there was no PPE shortage
Mum's Christmas weight gain was actually a tumour the 'size of a newborn baby'
"I couldn’t have been looked after better and know I would be much worse without Gillian in my life.
“Days like our wedding day are so special, creating these precious memories together.
“This is the only decision in my whole life that I knew was 100 per cent right, no hesitations.”
Gillian added: “I’m totally in love with Brian and there wasn’t one part of me that considered not being on this journey with him, even though he gave me the option.
“Some people go through life and never experience this feeling with someone or have what we have together – I wasn’t going to give that up.
“I couldn't tell you who else was in the room, I was just focused on Brian.
"I think today shows everyone how much we love each other, and has made people look at their own life and what's most important to them."
To donate to a fundraiser for MND Scotland, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jackmurphyironman