The course of true love never runs smoothly, as David and Kate Morgan know only too well.
In seven years they have known the intoxicating emotions of falling madly in love, had their relationship tested by cancer and then a major industrial accident and felt the pain of infertility.
Now, having come through all of it, the couple, both 36, have a much longed-for baby girl, Angelina.
The beautiful bundle of joy arrived on Saturday morning – a few days after The News interviewed the couple – and they are over the moon.
‘We are over the moon with the arrival of our little miracle’ says Kate.
Kate and David met in 2009 through a mutual friend on Facebook. Friendship soon turned to romance.
Fortunately there is lots of humour in our relationshipDavid Morgan
Less than a year after meeting David, a heavily-built body builder began feeling nauseous, suffered severe acid in his throat, exhaustion, went off his food and lost a lot of weight.
Visits to the doctor invariably ended with more prescriptions for indigestion relief, even though David could feel a lump in his abdomen.
It took several visits to his GP to at last be sent to hospital and by this point the lump was protruding from his stomach.
Tests confirmed he had testicular cancer.
David says: ‘I had a mass attached to my renal tract. It was 18cm in diameter and spread out through me like a hand.
‘I’d always been very, very fit. I went running, played football every week.
‘I had a tiny mass of cancer on my testicle and it dislodged and resettled on my renal tract.
‘Although it had spread I had the advantage of being young which meant they could give me the very highest blast of chemotherapy.’
But while David was undergoing treatment he caught septicaemia.
He says, ‘I was so ill I hardly remember any of it.’
Devoted Kate, sick with worry, had to juggle her first year teacher training with being by David’s side.
Because he was an agency worker they were having to survive on just Kate’s trainee wage.
She says: ‘At the time we were in a flat in Southsea and it was horrible. It was damp and cold. We were running up huge debts trying to keep it warm as David was going through treatment.
‘We got to the stage where we owed the electricity company a lot of money.
‘Fortunately a Macmillan nurse was working on David’s ward and he spoke to us about our worries about the cancer and our finances.
‘He took our details and a couple of weeks later a cheque arrived in the post’.
Kate says: ‘It was such a relief. I can’t put into words how grateful we were for that.
‘It meant we could pay our bills and buy a few bits for Christmas.
‘It really took the pressure off a bit.’
Fortunately David got through the treatment and began to get strong. He says: ‘The stress was immeasurable. It was just awful. But I never thought I wouldn’t make it.
‘I knew it was going to be tough but I had too much to fight for.
‘I had just got in a relationship with Kate. Getting that diagnosis just a year after getting together was devastating. It was tough, but we got through it.’
David had to have his testicle removed and tests revealed he was infertile.
They married in their dream wedding on HMS Warrior in 2012. It was a perfect day after everything they had been through.
Then, last July, David’s finger was chopped off in an accident with a lathe machine at work.
He has been left traumatised by the accident and the couple face financial hardship because the silicone prosthetic which will replace the middle finger on his right hand will need to be replaced every three years.
But they remain steely and are determined to make a positive out of what has happened to them to help others.
David will be having his finger stump tattooed to raise money for Macmillan.
He says: ‘Fortunately there is lots of humour in our relationship’ says David.
‘We’ve always been able to laugh. I’m the clown. We’re always teasing each other.’
And Kate agrees: ‘We have to laugh otherwise we’ll end up in a spiral of depression and we don’t want to go down that road.’
David was left infertile by the cancer treatment and, after going through their options, they opted to use donor sperm through IVF.
It worked first time and they now have their darling daughter, Angelina May Frances.
And now they have even more reason to be happy and hopeful.
‘She means the world to us already and we can’t imagine life without her’, says Kate.
‘And no matter how desperate things have become, we have always managed to laugh’ David says.
‘Everything we’ve been through has only made us stronger.’
HELPING CHARITY THAT HELPED US
When times were really tough for David and Kate Morgan a charity stepped in to ease the burden.
Macmillan supports patients and their families from the moment they are diagnosed with cancer.
In Kate and David’s case, a Macmillan nurse talked them through the treatment process but was also able to give them financial support because David was off work for a long time and money was tight.
The couple now want to give something back to them and, on May 21, David will have the damaged finger on his right hand tattooed with a picture of Dave the Minion, from the film Despicable Me.
It will take place at Tattoo Incorporated, 23 London Road, Cowplain, from 10am.
The public are invited to go along to watch and take part in the raffle.
David says: ‘We really want to repay Macmillan for what they have done for us, and help them continue the work they do for others who find themselves in a similar situation to us.’
Donate at justgiving.com/Morganater.