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Daniel passes away after dying wish of wedding fulfilled

A melanoma patient who married his girlfriend as his dying wish last week has died.

Family members said 27-year-old Daniel Paton died peacefully at Canberra's Calvary Hospital on Sunday night.

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Calvary Hospital wedding

It was the dying wish of terminally ill patient Daniel Paton to marry his girlfriend Ashlea Hanson and on Tuesday night they decided to make the commitment.

The abattoir worker from Wagga Wagga had been admitted to the hospital a week earlier after his condition deteriorated.

He married his girlfriend Ashlea Hanson, a 26-year-old Canberra public servant, in a moving ceremony last Wednesday in the Calvary chapel, after the occasion was organised by staff at the hospital.

The couple had expected a simple bedside ceremony after revealing their wish, but the hospital staff rose as one to deliver a memorable wedding, all organised within 18 hours, with the cafe making the wedding cake and a nurse going home to get her own wedding gown for Ms Hanson to wear.

The nurse who brought in the dress also brought in shoes. Another nurse had a beautician friend come in to do her hair and make-up.


Pastoral care staff organised a minister. Another staff member brought in a video camera to film the ceremony. A photographer was organised. The hospital florist provided the bouquet and flowers. Catering staff organised food.

The emotional ceremony, which demonstrated the love and commitment of the young couple to each other and the care and kindness of the hospital staff, has moved thousands of people who have watched a video of the event online.

''There was not a dry eye in the place,'' Ms Hanson's mother Cathy said. ''Ashlea, who has been so stressed, after the wedding, I saw her that night and I said to her, 'You look so much more relaxed' and she just said, 'I gave him his wish','' she said.

Mr Paton was diagnosed with melanoma last July, and the cancer spread throughout his body.

He was admitted to hospital on Sunday, July 22. He also had a fall when Ms Hanson was going to get a wheelchair and had to have stitches in his face.

His mother Helen Paton said his melanoma had been detected when he bumped a mole on his arm a couple of times.

''He went on clinical trials in January, which worked for a little while and kept it at bay, but it started growing again,'' Mrs Paton said.

He had never spent too much time in the sun, she said. ''He was never a sun baker. Never been a boy to run around without a shirt on or anything like that. The doctor just said it was the luck of the draw,'' she said.


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