Kingston Hospital ward transformed for marriage of couple together for 25 years

Benny Khaw and Julia Cox met and fell in love playing badminton, 25 years ago and had been considering a wedding ever since. At 11.30pm on Friday 8 January, the Acute Assessment Unit at Kingston Hospital was transformed by staff to allow the couple to get married, with Julia’s two daughters, Eleanor Cox and Emma Perham, as witnesses.

Benny was unexpectedly rushed to Kingston Hospital on 2 January with COVID-19. Previously an active man, Benny became acutely unwell and was cared for at the hospital until he sadly died on Sunday 17 January, aged 85.

Benny and Julia have three daughters and four grandchildren between them and for both of them, this was their second marriage.

Eleanor Cox said: “Benny has been in our lives for many years and I consider him to be my dad. It was so special to be able to see mum and Benny get married – it was a wonderful celebration of the times they have shared. We have all been blown away by the kindness shown by the staff at Kingston Hospital. In the midst of a pandemic, staff pulled out all the stops to enable this to happen. They have been so incredibly kind to our family and really showed a level of care and compassion that is above and beyond what we expected.”

“We would like to thank Kingston Hospital Charity for so kindly funding a wedding cake and decorations for the ward, Kyle Tovey, Therapeutic Activities Assistant, who spent time decorating Benny’s bedside with beautiful lights and decorations, The Revd Susan van Beveren who conducted such a wonderful ceremony for mum and Benny, and Matron Liz Raderecht, for making it all happen.”

Liz Raderecht, Matron on Kingston Hospital’s Acute Assessment Unit, said: “It was an honour to plan and put together a special moment for Benny and Julia. Noreen, Carolyn and Kyle did an amazing job of transforming the discharge lounge and it really lifted the whole team to be able to do something like this, in what has been a challenging time for everyone.”