We’re often touched by the special relationships we witness. Whether siblings, friends, mother and daughter, or partners, we see so much love - each story precious and unique. 

We met Mark and Lucie earlier this year, when Mark was admitted to our ward to spend his final days with us. Mark, who was 34, had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer just nine months before. His wife, Lucie, spoke to us about their life together and the memories she treasures.

‘Mark and I met in Crete while working as holiday reps. Six years later, we were married and had created our own, happy little world with our gorgeous Labrador, Filimo, which is Greek for "my best friend".

'Mark was honest, sarcastic, loving, and so funny- he was always doing silly things! In Florida last year, Daisy Duck came over for a cuddle, but he took the opportunity to swing her around as she clung onto his neck. The whole cast of Disney came running to her rescue - we soon learnt that you’re not meant to pick them up!

'Last October, Mark was admitted to A&E after choking on a piece of meat. Two months later, we were told that he had oesophageal cancer that had spread to his stomach wall. It was terminal. Doctors couldn’t believe that such a young man had two aggressive cancers and no symptoms. We were in shock and absolutely devastated, but we knew we had to be positive and make the most of our time.

'We escaped to Thailand for three weeks in January which was incredible. All of the memories of our last months together are amazing: we didn’t take a second for granted. My handsome Mark was never without his smile - even if his beloved Tottenham were losing!

'Sadly, Mark deteriorated at the end of August and was moved to St Wilfrid’s. When I arrived in tears, a nurse gave me a hug and reassured me that we were in the right place. She was right; Mark was so grateful to have his own room and felt instantly at peace. A few weeks before he died, I found out I was pregnant, which was such wonderful news - Mark was delighted and we settled on a name together, Teddy, after Mark's football favourite, Teddy Sherringham. Filimo visited Mark the night before he died, which was lovely, and I held his hand as he took his last breath the next morning. He was 34.

'Mark, thoughtful as ever, had left me a note on the iPad with a whole heap of useful information for me - even down to the size of the tyres on the car. He told me to look after myself and reminded me how much he loved me.

'He was so brave and fought a gallant battle: my heart is bursting with pride! I miss him every day, but I’m so grateful for the life, and the love, that we shared.’

Lucie with Teddy, the son born after Mark's death