IT was supposed to be the happiest day of her life.
But Marcia Holmes’ wedding day was turned upside down after her mother Jean Fray collapsed at her reception, just an hour after watching her daughter walk down the aisle.
She was taken to hospital suffering from a catastrophic brain haemorrhage, and passed away less than a day later with her family by her side.
Now Marcia is preparing to take part in The Great South Run on October 22 to raise money for The Stroke Assdociation.
Marcia, who grew up in Baffins and lives in London, said: ‘My mum started feeling unwell after the wedding so she went back to the house we were staying in to lie down.
‘She lost conciousness when she got to the house and we had a few doctors, who were guests, go over to see her.’
An ambulance was called to take Jean to hospital, where the family were told the heartbreaking news that she might not wake up again.
Marcia, 31, said: ‘The doctors checked if there were signs of brain activity overnight. They did an amazing job.’
With Jean, 60, in hospital, husband Les held back tears to read the father-of-the-bride speech he never had a chance to give.
Jean was also able to donate some of her organs which have since saved the lives of four others.
Later that day, less than 24 hours after Marcia exchanged her vows with husband Nick, Jean passed away.
To thank the hospital staff Marcia, who works at Bloomberg, later brought in her uneaten wedding cake for staff to eat.
She said: ‘The staff were all really caring. We cut the cake in the staff room and gave it to all the people in A&E and intensive care who helped look after my mum.’
To add to the family’s tragedy, Marcia’s nan Audrey Simmons died aged 86 on July 20 – the day Jean was cremated.
In two weeks’ time Marcia will join thousands of others running through the streets of Portsmouth to raise money for the national charity, to fund research into strokes and brain haemorrhages.
To sponsor Marcia visit justgiving.com/fundraising/mama-fray.
To take part in the Great South Run click here.